Bill Text: NJ S3264 | 2016-2017 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Allows domestic violence victims to cancel television and telephone service contracts without paying early termination fee.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2017-06-01 - Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Economic Growth Committee [S3264 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2016-S3264-Introduced.html

SENATE, No. 3264

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JUNE 1, 2017

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  JAMES BEACH

District 6 (Burlington and Camden)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Allows domestic violence victims to cancel television and telephone service contracts without paying early termination fee.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning television and telephone service contracts and supplementing Titles 48 and 56 of the Revised Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    As used in section 2 of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill):

     "Bundle contract" means the provision of cable television service and telecommunications service to a residential customer in this State through a contract with a cable television company for those services.

     "Cable television company," "CATV company," "cable television service," and "CATV service" shall have the same meaning as provided in section 3 of P.L.1972, c.186 (C.48:5A-3).

     "Residential customer" or "customer" means a customer receiving cable television service from a cable television company.

     "Telecommunications service" shall have the same meaning as provided in section 2 of P.L.1991, c.428 (C.48:2-21.17).

     "Victim of domestic violence" shall have the same meaning as provided in section 3 of P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-19).

 

     2.    A cable television company shall allow a residential customer who is under a contract with a CATV company, including but not limited to, a bundle contract or multi-year contract, to opt-out of the contract without paying an early termination fee or other similar charge when the customer is a victim of domestic violence and requests to opt-out of the contract in writing.  The residential customer who is a victim of domestic violence shall provide to the CATV company, within one year of the customer's request, a copy of a permanent restraining order: issued by a court pursuant to section 13 of the "Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991," P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-29); or from another jurisdiction issued pursuant to the jurisdiction's laws concerning domestic violence.  A request for opting-out of the contract without charge shall be made in good faith.  The CATV company shall waive the otherwise applicable charges for the residential customer requesting to opt-out of the contract as of the date the CATV company receives the request.

 

     3.    As used in section 4 of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill):

     "Bundle contract" means the provision of telecommunications service and cable television service to a residential customer in this State through a contract with a local exchange telephone company for those services.

     "Cable television service" shall have the same meaning as provided in section 3 of P.L.1972, c.186 (C.48:5A-3).

     "Local exchange telephone company" and "telecommunications service" shall have the same meaning as provided in section 2 of P.L.1991, c.428 (C.48:2-21.17).

     "Residential customer" or "customer" means a customer receiving telecommunications service from a local exchange telephone company.

     "Victim of domestic violence" shall have the same meaning as provided in section 3 of P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-19).

 

     4.    A local exchange telephone company shall allow a residential customer who is under contract with the local exchange telephone company, including but not limited to, a bundle contract or multi-year contract, to opt-out of the contract without paying an early termination fee or other similar charge when the customer is a victim of domestic violence and requests to opt-out of the contract in writing.  The residential customer who is a victim of domestic violence shall provide to the local exchange telephone company, within one year of the customer's request, a copy of a permanent restraining order: issued by a court pursuant to section 13 of the "Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991," P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-29); or from another jurisdiction issued pursuant to the jurisdiction's laws concerning domestic violence.  A request for opting-out of the contract without charge shall be made in good faith.  The local exchange telephone company shall waive the otherwise applicable charges for the residential customer requesting to opt-out of the contract as of the date the local exchange telephone company receives the request.

 

     5.    As used in section 6 of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill):

     "Bundle contract" means the provision of direct broadcast satellite service and telecommunications service to a residential customer in this State through a contract with a provider of direct broadcast satellite service for those services.

     "Provider of direct broadcast satellite service" or "provider" shall have the same meaning as provided in 47 U.S.C. s.335.

     "Residential customer" or "customer" means a customer receiving direct broadcast satellite service from a provider of direct broadcast satellite service.

     "Telecommunications service" shall have the same meaning as provided in section 2 of P.L.1991, c.428 (C.48:2-21.17).

     "Victim of domestic violence" shall have the same meaning as provided in section 3 of P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-19).

 

     6.    A provider of direct broadcast satellite service shall allow a residential customer who is under contract with the provider, including but not limited to, a bundle contract or multi-year contract, to opt-out of the contract without paying an early termination fee or other similar charge when the customer is a victim of domestic violence and requests to opt-out of the contract in writing.  The residential customer who is a victim of domestic violence shall provide to the provider, within one year of the customer's request a copy of a permanent restraining order: issued by a court pursuant to section 13 of the "Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991," P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-29); or from another jurisdiction issued pursuant to the jurisdiction's laws concerning domestic violence.  A request for opting-out of the contract without charge shall be made in good faith.  The provider shall waive the otherwise applicable charges for the residential customer requesting to opt-out of the contract as of the date the provider receives the request.

 

     7.    This act shall take effect immediately and apply to contracts entered into or renewed after the effective date of this act.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill provides that a cable television company, local exchange telephone company, or provider of direct broadcast satellite service providing television and telecommunications service to allow a residential customer who is a victim of domestic violence and is under a bundle contract or multi-year contract, to cancel the contract without paying an early termination fee or other similar charge.

     The bill requires a customer who is a victim of domestic violence to request the contract cancellation in writing and submit, within one year of the request, documentation proving that the customer is a victim of domestic violence to the local exchange telephone company, cable television company, or provider of direct satellite broadcast service.  The required documentation is to include a copy of a permanent domestic violence restraining order issued in this State or a copy of a permanent restraining order from another jurisdiction issued pursuant to the jurisdiction's laws concerning domestic violence.  A request for opting-out of the contract without charge is to be made in good faith.  These service providers are to waive the otherwise applicable charges for the residential customer requesting to opt-out of the contract as of the date these service providers receive the request.

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