47 U.S.C. § 345 Protection of Survivors of Domestic Violence, Human Trafficking, and Related Crimes

LibraryUnited States Statutes
Edition2023 Edition
CurrencyCurrent through P.L. 118-19 (published on www.congress.gov on 10/06/2023)

(a) Definitions

In this section:

(1) Abuser

The term "abuser" means an individual who has committed or allegedly committed a covered act against-

(A) an individual who seeks relief under subsection (b); or

(B) an individual in the care of an individual who seeks relief under subsection (b).

(2) Covered act

(A) In general

The term "covered act" means conduct that constitutes-

(i) a crime described in section 12291(a) of title 34, including domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and sex trafficking;

(ii) an act or practice described in paragraph (11) or (12) of section 7102 of title 22 (relating to severe forms of trafficking in persons and sex trafficking, respectively); or

(iii) an act under State law, Tribal law, or the Uniform Code of Military Justice that is similar to an offense described in clause (i) or (ii).

(B) Conviction not required

Nothing in subparagraph (A) shall be construed to require a criminal conviction or any other determination of a court in order for conduct to constitute a covered act.

(3) Covered provider

The term "covered provider" means a provider of a private mobile service or commercial mobile service, as those terms are defined in section 332(d) of this title.

(4) Primary account holder

The term "primary account holder" means an individual who is a party to a mobile service contract with a covered provider.

(5) Shared mobile service contract

The term "shared mobile service contract"-

(A) means a mobile service contract for an account that includes not less than 2 consumers; and

(B) does not include enterprise services offered by a covered provider.

(6) Survivor

The term "survivor" means an individual who is not less than 18 years old and-

(A) against whom a covered act has been committed or allegedly committed; or

(B) who cares for another individual against whom a covered act has been committed or allegedly committed (provided that the individual providing care did not commit or allegedly commit the covered act).

(b) Separation of lines from shared mobile service contract

(1) In general

Not later than 2 business days after receiving a completed line separation request from a survivor pursuant to subsection (c), a covered provider shall, as applicable, with respect to a shared mobile service contract under which the survivor and the abuser each use a line-

(A) separate the line of the survivor, and the line of any individual in the care of the survivor, from the shared mobile service contract; or

(B) separate the line of the abuser from the shared mobile service contract.

(2) Limitations on penalties, fees, and other requirements

Except as provided in paragraphs (5) through (7), a covered provider may not make separation of a line from a shared mobile service contract under paragraph (1) contingent on any requirement other than the requirements under subsection (c), including-

(A) payment of a fee, penalty, or other charge;

(B) maintaining contractual or billing responsibility of a separated line with the provider;

(C) approval of separation by the primary account holder, if the primary account holder is not the survivor;

(D) a prohibition or limitation, including one described in subparagraph (A), on number portability, provided such portability is technically feasible, or a request to change phone numbers;

(E) a prohibition or limitation on the separation of lines as a result of arrears accrued by the account;

(F) an increase in the rate charged for the mobile service plan of the primary account holder with respect to service on any remaining line or lines; or

(G) any other limitation or requirement not listed under subsection (c).

(3) Rule of construction

Nothing in paragraph (2) shall be construed to require a covered provider to provide a rate plan for the primary account holder that is not otherwise commercially available.

(4) Remote option

A covered provider shall offer a survivor the ability to submit a line separation request under subsection (c) through secure remote means that are easily navigable, provided that remote options are commercially available and technically feasible.

(5) Responsibility for transferred telephone numbers

Notwithstanding paragraph (2), beginning on the date on which a covered provider transfers billing responsibilities for and use of a telephone number or numbers to a survivor under paragraph (1)(A) in response to a line separation request submitted by the survivor under subsection (c), unless ordered otherwise by a court, the survivor shall assume financial responsibility, including for monthly service costs, for the transferred telephone number or numbers.

(6) Responsibility for transferred telephone numbers from a survivor's account

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