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Sponsors: Reps. Altman, Littlejohn, Simrill, Vaughn, Bales, Hinson, Kirsh, Umphlett, Merrill, Richardson, Clemmons and Cotty
Document Path: l:\council\bills\pt\1131mm03.doc
Companion/Similar bill(s): 227, 388, 519, 3040, 3119
Introduced in the House on January 14, 2003
Currently residing in the House Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry
Summary: Do-Not-Call telephone list
HISTORY OF LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS
Date Body Action Description with journal page number ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 12/4/2002 House Prefiled 12/4/2002 House Referred to Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry 1/14/2003 House Introduced and read first time HJ-15 1/14/2003 House Referred to Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry HJ-15 1/21/2003 House Member(s) request name added as sponsor: Richardson 1/28/2003 House Member(s) request name added as sponsor: Clemmons 2/4/2003 House Member(s) request name added as sponsor: Cotty
View the latest legislative information at the LPITS web site
VERSIONS OF THIS BILL
TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING ARTICLE 25 TO CHAPTER 9, TITLE 58 SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR THE PROTECTION OF TELEPHONE CUSTOMERS IN THIS STATE FROM UNWANTED TELEPHONE SOLICITATION IN THIS STATE, INCLUDING PROVISIONS FOR, AMONG OTHER THINGS, A DATABASE CONSTITUTING A "NO-CALL LIST", CIVIL PENALTIES, ENFORCEMENT BY THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION, AND A TWO-YEAR STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS; TO PROVIDE THAT TELEPHONE CALLER IDENTIFICATION SERVICES ARE NOT LIABLE FOR VIOLATIONS OF THIS ARTICLE AND TELEPHONE COMPANIES ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ENFORCEMENT OR LIABLE FOR ERRORS OR OMISSIONS IN THE DATABASE; AND TO AMEND SECTION 30-4-40, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO MATTERS EXEMPT FROM DISCLOSURE UNDER THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT, SO AS TO ADD THE DATABASE ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO ARTICLE 25, CHAPTER 9, TITLE 58.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Chapter 9, Title 58 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
Section 58-9-2710. (A) As used in this article, the term:
(1) 'Caller identification service' means a type of telephone service that permits a telephone subscriber to see the telephone number of an incoming telephone call.
(2) 'Previously established relationship' means a prior or existing relationship, not previously terminated by either party, formed by a voluntary two-way communication between a person or an entity and a residential subscriber with or without an exchange of consideration, on the basis of an inquiry, application, purchase, or transaction by the residential subscriber regarding a specific product or specific service offered by the person or entity, but does not extend to another product or service offered by the person or entity.
(3) 'Residential subscriber' means a person who has subscribed to residential telephone service from a local exchange carrier or another person living or residing with that person.
(4) 'Telephone solicitation' means a voice communication over a telephone line for the purpose of encouraging the purchase or rental of, or investment in, property, goods, or services from or on behalf of a person or an entity with whom a residential subscriber has no previously established relationship or personal relationship. The communication may be from a live operator, through the use of a dual party relay system as defined in Section 58-9-2510, automatically dialed announcing device as defined in Section 16-17-446, or by other means. This term does not apply to a communication by or on behalf of an organization that is identified as a nonprofit organization pursuant to state or federal law.
(5) 'Local exchange carrier' means either an incumbent local exchange carrier or a new entrant local exchange carrier, as defined in Section 58-9-10.
(B) A person or entity may not make or cause to be made a telephone solicitation to the telephone line of a residential subscriber in this State who has given notice to the local exchange carrier, in accordance with subsection (C) of the subscriber's objection to receiving telephone solicitations.
(C)(1) The commission shall establish and maintain a database to compile a 'No-Call List' of telephone numbers of residential subscribers who object to receiving telephone solicitations as defined in subsection (A)(4). The database must be in operation no later than six months from the effective date of this article.
(2) The database may be operated by the commission or by another entity under contract with the commission.
(3) To create the database required by this article, each local exchange carrier shall:
(a) inform each residential subscriber of the opportunity to provide notification to the commission or its contractor that the subscriber objects to receiving telephone solicitations;
(b) mail or e-mail to each residential subscriber a returnable card or e-mail by which the residential subscriber may give notice to the commission or its contractor of his:
(i) objection to receiving those calls; or
(ii) revocation of that notice;
(c) specify that a notice of objection is effective for four years unless revoked and the change of telephone number on the notice requires a separate notice of objection.
(4) The commission must ensure the placement of a subscriber's name on the No-Call List within ninety days of the subscriber giving the notice of objection.
(5) The commission shall specify the methods by which a person desiring to make telephone solicitations may obtain access to the database as required to avoid calling the telephone numbers of residential subscribers included in the database.
(6) If the Federal Communications Commission establishes a single national database of telephone numbers of subscribers who object to receiving telephone solicitations, the local exchange carrier shall include the part of such single national database that relates to South Carolina in the database established by this article. If a national list is established, a person or entity desiring to make a telephone solicitation must not be required to access a separate no-call list for the State of South Carolina.
(D) A person or an entity desiring to make telephone solicitations must be charged a fee payable to the commission for access to or for paper or electronic copies of the database established pursuant to this article. The commission may require that fees so charged are sufficient to cover the carrier's costs in the compilation and preparation of the database, except that the fee may not exceed one hundred twenty-five dollars for each acquisition of the list.
(E) A person or an entity who makes a telephone solicitation to the telephone line of a residential subscriber in this State:
(1) shall state clearly, at the beginning of the call, the identity of the person or entity initiating the call;
(2) may not utilize a method to block or otherwise circumvent the subscriber's use of a caller identification services; and
(3) shall have obtained access to a current version of the No-Call List at least once within the ninety days immediately preceding the call.
(F) The commission shall investigate complaints received concerning violations of this article, and may exercise all its enforcement authority in connection with a violation including, but not limited to, imposition of a civil penalty of not more than one thousand dollars for each violation.
(G) In any action or proceeding against a person, pursuant to this article, it is a defense that the defendant established and implemented, with due care, reasonable practices and procedures effectively to prevent telephone solicitation in violation of the article.
(H) An action or a proceeding may not be brought pursuant to this article more than two years after the:
(1) person bringing the action knew or should have known of the alleged violation; or
(2) termination of any proceeding or action by the State of South Carolina, whichever is later.
(I) A court of this State may exercise personal jurisdiction over a nonresident or his executor or administrator as to an action or proceeding authorized by this article in accordance with the provisions of Part 8, Chapter 2, Title 36.
(J) The remedies, duties, prohibitions, and penalties of this article are not exclusive and are in addition to all other causes of action, remedies, and penalties provided by law.
(K)(1) A provider of telephone caller identification service must not be held liable for violations of this article committed by other persons or entities.
(2) A telephone company is not liable for the enforcement of the provisions of this article nor for an error or omission in the database creating the 'No-Call List'."
SECTION 2. Section 30-4-40(a) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 350 of 2002, is further amended by adding an undesignated item at the end to read:
"( ) The 'No-Call List' database established by Article 25, Chapter 9, Title 58."
SECTION 3. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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