HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

538

TWENTY-EIGHTH LEGISLATURE, 2015

H.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that victims of domestic violence currently lack meaningful support and viable options when establishing a plan to leave an abuser. Independence of a phone plan may often aid these victims in formulating and following through on a means of escape, especially in situations where the abuser is the account manager for the cellphone plan, and as a result, may view any calls and account activity of phones associated with the shared or family cellphone plan.

The legislature further finds that the major communications service providers currently permit cancellation or removal of phone numbers or phones from shared or family wireless service contracts, albeit with substantial fees attached. The substantial cancellation fees often amplify the hardship faced by the domestic violence victim because of the financial challenges those fees can pose.

The purpose of this Act is to require all communication service providers to release, without charge or fee, victims of documented domestic violence from shared wireless plans involving their abuser, provided that the victims submit an opt-out request in writing and documented evidence of domestic violence.

SECTION 2. Chapter 269, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"269-   Release of domestic violence victims from shared wireless plans. (a) All telecommunications carriers shall release without charge or penalty any victim of domestic violence from a shared or family wireless service contract involving the victim's abuser; provided that the victim submits an opt-out request in writing and with evidence of domestic violence as documented by any of the following items:

(1) Valid police report documenting an instance or series of instances of domestic violence;

(2) Order for protection granted pursuant to chapter 586; or

(3) Signed affidavit from a licensed medical or mental health care provider, employee of a court acting within the scope of their employment, or social worker.

(b) Any victim of domestic violence who submits an opt-out request to a telecommunications carrier pursuant to subsection (a) may further request a substitute or new phone number or alternative telecommunications service. Upon such request, the telecommunications carrier shall provide a substitute or new phone number or alternative telecommunications service without charge or fee and within twenty-four hours from the time of the opt-out request.

(c) For purposes of this section, "domestic violence" has the same meaning as in section 321-471."

SECTION 3. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.

SECTION 4. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2050.


 


 

Report Title:

Domestic Violence; Wireless Plans; Contractual Release

 

Description:

Requires telecommunications carriers to release individuals from shared or family wireless plans, without charge, upon written request and due to documented instances of domestic violence.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.