Domestic Abuse Victims Can Transfer Wireless Phone Numbers & Utilities – 2017 Oklahoma Laws #10

The petitioner (victim) in a victim protective order may now get their wireless telephone numbers and utility account transferred and billed to themselves without divulging their address to the account holder. This situation may arise when the perpetrator is paying for the victim’s service. The bill’s goal is to ensure that a petitioner can maintain an existing wireless telephone number or household utility account without having their personal information disclosed to the perpetrator.

How To Transfer The Phone Number Or Utility Account

A court may issue an order directing a wireless service provider or public utility provider to transfer the billing responsibility for and rights to the wireless telephone number, numbers of any minor children in the care of the petitioning party, or household utility account to the petitioner if the petitioner is not the wireless service or public utility account holder.
victim protective order phone number oklahoma
The order transferring billing responsibility for and rights to the wireless telephone number or numbers or household utility account to the petitioner must list the name and billing telephone number of the account holder, the name and contact information of the person to whom the telephone number or numbers or household utility account will be transferred, and each telephone number or household utility to be transferred to that person. The contact information of the petitioner must not be provided to the account holder in these proceedings.

Upon issuance, a copy of the final order of protection must be transmitted to the registered agent of the wireless service provider or public utility provider listed with the Secretary of State or Corporation Commission of Oklahoma or electronically to the email address provided by the wireless service provider or public utility provider.

What If The Provider Can’t Comply With The Order

If the wireless service provider or public utility provider cannot put the order into effect due to certain circumstances, the wireless service provider or public utility provider must notify the petitioner. Such circumstances include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. the account holder has already terminated the account,
  2. the differences in network technology prevent the functionality of a mobile device on the network, or
  3. there are geographic or other limitations on network or service availability.

What Happens After The Transfer

Upon transfer of billing responsibility for and rights to a wireless telephone number (or numbers) or household utility account to the petitioner by a wireless service or public utility provider, the petitioner will assume all financial responsibility for the transferred wireless telephone number (or numbers), household utility account, monthly service, utility billing costs, and costs for any mobile device associated with the wireless telephone number or numbers. The wireless service or public utility provider has the right to pursue the original account holder for purposes of collecting any past due amounts owed to the wireless service provider or public utility provider.

This law doesn’t preclude a wireless service provider or public utility provider from applying any routine and customary requirements for account establishment to the petitioner as part of this transfer of billing responsibility for a household utility account or for a wireless telephone number or numbers and any mobile devices attached to that number including, but not limited to, identification, financial information, and customer preferences.

No cause of action can be taken against any wireless service provider or public utility provider, its officers, employees or agents for actions taken in accordance with the terms of a court order issued under the provisions of this law.

HB 1466 modified 22 O.S. § 60.4. This law went into effect November 1, 2017.

Sources: HB 1466 & 22 O.S. § 60.4

Information from The Urbanic Law Firm on how to get a Victim Protective Order in Oklahoma.

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