New Illinois Law Allows Domestic Violence Survivors to Keep Cellphone Numbers

Public Act 100-0388, entitled “An Act Concerning Domestic Violence,” which took effect January 1, 2018, allows survivors of domestic violence to petition the court as part of an order of protection to keep their current cellphone numbers without the approval of the primary account holder. They can also ask the court to have their children’s numbers transferred as well.  Of course, those petitioning would become financially responsible for the numbers transferred to them.  The act amends Section 5 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 by adding Section 112A-14(b)(18) and amends Section 10 of the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986 by adding Section 214(b)(18).  If you are in need of an order of protection or need to defend against an order of protection, the attorneys at Allison & Mosby-Scott can help.  Please visit our website or call us at 309-662-5084.

725 ILCS 5/112A-14 now states, in part:

Order of protection; remedies.

(a) Issuance of order. If the court finds that petitioner has been abused by a family or household member, as defined in this Article, an order of protection prohibiting such abuse shall issue; provided that petitioner must also satisfy the requirements of one of the following Sections, as appropriate:  Section 112A-17 on emergency orders, Section 112A-18 on interim orders, or Section 112A-19 on plenary orders. Petitioner shall not be denied an order of protection because petitioner or respondent is a minor. The court, when determining whether or not to issue an order of protection, shall not require physical manifestations of abuse on the person of the victim.

Modification and extension of prior orders of protection shall be in accordance with this Article.

(b) Remedies and standards. The remedies to be included in an order of protection shall be determined in accordance with this Section and one of the following Sections, as appropriate: Section 112A-17 on emergency orders, Section 112A-18 on interim orders, and Section 112A-19 on plenary orders. The remedies listed in this subsection shall be in addition to other civil or criminal remedies available to petitioner.

. . .

(18) Telephone services.

(A) Unless a condition described in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph exists, the court may, upon request by the petitioner, order a wireless telephone service provider to transfer to the petitioner the right to continue to use a telephone number or numbers indicated by the petitioner and the financial responsibility associated with the number or numbers, as set forth in subparagraph (C) of this paragraph. For purposes of this paragraph (18), the term “wireless telephone service provider” means a provider of commercial mobile service as defined in 47 U.S.C. 332. The petitioner may request the transfer of each telephone number that the petitioner, or a minor child in his or her custody, uses. The clerk of the court shall serve the order on the wireless telephone service provider’s agent for service of process provided to the Illinois Commerce Commission. The order shall contain all of the following:

(i) The name and billing telephone number of the account holder including the name of the wireless telephone service provider that serves the account.

(ii) Each telephone number that will be transferred.

(iii) A statement that the provider transfers to the petitioner all financial responsibility for and right to the use of any telephone number transferred under this paragraph.

(B) A wireless telephone service provider shall terminate the respondent’s use of, and shall transfer to the petitioner use of, the telephone number or numbers indicated in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph unless it notifies the petitioner, within 72 hours after it receives the order, that one of the following applies:

(i) The account holder named in the order has terminated the account.

(ii) A difference in network technology would prevent or impair the functionality of a device on a network if the transfer occurs.

(iii) The transfer would cause a geographic or other limitation on network or service provision to the petitioner.

(iv) Another technological or operational issue would prevent or impair the use of the telephone number if the transfer occurs.

(C) The petitioner assumes all financial responsibility for and right to the use of any telephone number transferred under this paragraph. In this paragraph, “financial responsibility” includes monthly service costs and costs associated with any mobile device associated with the number.

(D) A wireless telephone service provider may apply to the petitioner its routine and customary requirements for establishing an account or transferring a number, including requiring the petitioner to provide proof of identification, financial information, and customer preferences.

(E) Except for willful or wanton misconduct, a wireless telephone service provider is immune from civil liability for its actions taken in compliance with a court order issued under this paragraph.

(F) All wireless service providers that provide services to residential customers shall provide to the Illinois Commerce Commission the name and address of an agent for service of orders entered under this paragraph (18). Any change in status of the registered agent must be reported to the Illinois Commerce Commission within 30 days of such change.

(G) The Illinois Commerce Commission shall maintain the list of registered agents for service for each wireless telephone service provider on the Commission’s website. The Commission may consult with wireless telephone service providers and the Circuit Court Clerks on the manner in which this information is provided and displayed.

750 ILCS 60/214 now states, in part:

Order of protection; remedies.

(a) Issuance of order. If the court finds that petitioner has been abused by a family or household member or that petitioner is a high-risk adult who has been abused, neglected,or exploited, as defined in this Act, an order of protection prohibiting the abuse, neglect, or exploitation shall issue; provided that petitioner must also satisfy the requirements of one of the following Sections, as appropriate: Section 217 on emergency orders, Section 218 on interim orders, or Section 219 on plenary orders. Petitioner shall not be denied an order of protection because petitioner or respondent is a minor. The court, when determining whether or not to issue an order of protection, shall not require physical manifestations of abuse on the person of the victim. Modification and extension of prior orders of protection shall be in accordance with this Act.

(b) Remedies and standards. The remedies to be included in an order of protection shall be determined in accordance with this Section and one of the following Sections, as appropriate: Section 217 on emergency orders, Section 218 on interim orders, and Section 219 on plenary orders. The remedies listed in this subsection shall be in addition to other civil or criminal remedies available to petitioner.

. . .

(18) Telephone services.

(A) Unless a condition described in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph exists, the court may, upon request by the petitioner, order a wireless telephone service provider to transfer to the petitioner the right to continue to use a telephone number or numbers indicated by the petitioner and the financial responsibility associated with the number or numbers, as set forth in subparagraph (C) of this paragraph. For purposes of this paragraph (18), the term “wireless telephone service provider” means a provider of commercial mobile service as defined in 47 U.S.C. 332. The petitioner may request the transfer of each telephone number that the petitioner, or a minor child in his or her custody, uses. The clerk of the court shall serve the order on the wireless telephone service provider’s agent for service of process provided to the Illinois Commerce Commission. The order shall contain all of the following:

(i) The name and billing telephone number of the account holder including the name of the wireless telephone service provider that serves the account.

(ii) Each telephone number that will be transferred.

(iii) A statement that the provider transfers to the petitioner all financial responsibility for and right to the use of any telephone number transferred under this paragraph.

(B) A wireless telephone service provider shall terminate the respondent’s use of, and shall transfer to the petitioner use of, the telephone number or numbers indicated in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph unless it notifies the petitioner, within 72 hours after it receives the order, that one of the following applies:

(i) The account holder named in the order has terminated the account.

(ii) A difference in network technology would prevent or impair the functionality of a device on a network if the transfer occurs.

(iii) The transfer would cause a geographic or other limitation on network or service provision to the petitioner.

(iv) Another technological or operational issue would prevent or impair the use of the telephone number if the transfer occurs.

(C) The petitioner assumes all financial responsibility for and right to the use of any telephone number transferred under this paragraph. In this paragraph, “financial responsibility” includes monthly service costs and costs associated with any mobile device associated with the number.

(D) A wireless telephone service provider may apply to the petitioner its routine and customary requirements for establishing an account or transferring a number, including requiring the petitioner to provide proof of identification, financial information, and customer preferences.

(E) Except for willful or wanton misconduct, a wireless telephone service provider is immune from civil liability for its actions taken in compliance with a court order issued under this paragraph.

(F) All wireless service providers that provide services to residential customers shall provide to the Illinois Commerce Commission the name and address of an agent for service of orders entered under this paragraph (18). Any change in status of the registered agent must be reported to the Illinois Commerce Commission within 30 days of such change.

(G) The Illinois Commerce Commission shall maintain the list of registered agents for service for each wireless telephone service provider on the Commission’s website. The Commission may consult with wireless telephone service providers and the Circuit Court Clerks on the manner in which this information is provided and displayed.