Print Friendly SENATE BILL NO. 1051 – Telephone company, consumr protectn
SENATE BILL NO. 1051
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TELEPHONE COMPANY - CONSUMER PROTECTION - Adds to existing law to authorize
a private action under the Consumer Protection Act if a person has been
aggrieved by a telephone company, telephone carrier or cellular phone
01/21 Senate intro - 1st rdg - to printing
01/24 Rpt prt - to Jud
]]]] LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO ]]]]
Fifty-eighth Legislature First Regular Session - 2005
IN THE SENATE
SENATE BILL NO. 1051
1 AN ACT
2 RELATING TO CONSUMER PROTECTION; AMENDING CHAPTER 6, TITLE 48, IDAHO CODE, BY
3 THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION 48-620, IDAHO CODE, TO PROVIDE A CONSUMER'S
4 ACTION AND RELIEF IF THE CONSUMER IS A TELEPHONE CUSTOMER AND TO PROVIDE
5 FOR VENUE, COURT COSTS AND ATTORNEY'S FEES; AND AMENDING CHAPTER 6, TITLE
6 48, IDAHO CODE, BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION 48-621, IDAHO CODE, TO
7 PROVIDE FOR A CLASS ACTION BY CONSUMERS REGARDING ACTIONS BY A TELEPHONE
8 COMPANY, CARRIER OR CELLULAR PHONE COMPANY.
9 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
10 SECTION 1. That Chapter 6, Title 48, Idaho Code, be, and the same is
11 hereby amended by the addition thereto of a NEW SECTION, to be known and des-
12 ignated as Section 48-620, Idaho Code, and to read as follows:
13 48-620. CONSUMER'S ACTION -- RELIEF -- TELEPHONE CUSTOMERS -- VENUE --
14 COURT COSTS AND ATTORNEY'S FEES. (1) Any consumer of a telephone company,
15 telephone carrier or cellular phone company who suffers any damage as a result
16 of the use or employment by any person of a method, act or practice declared
17 to be unlawful pursuant to section 48-603D, Idaho Code, may bring an action
18 against such person to recover or obtain any of the following:
19 (a) Actual damages, but in no case shall the total award of damages in a
20 class action be less than one thousand dollars ($1,000);
21 (b) An order enjoining such methods, acts or practices;
22 (c) Restitution of property;
23 (d) Punitive damages;
24 (e) Any other relief which the court deems proper.
25 (2) Any consumer who is sixty-five (65) years of age or older or is hand-
26 icapped as defined in section 67-6902, Idaho Code, as part of an action under
27 subsection (1) of this section may seek and be awarded, in addition to the
28 remedies specified therein up to five thousand dollars ($5,000) where the
29 court finds that the consumer has suffered substantial physical, emotional or
30 economic damage from the defendant's conduct, makes an affirmative finding
31 that the defendant's conduct was willful and finds that an additional award is
32 appropriate. Judgment in a class action pursuant to section 48-621, Idaho
33 Code, by persons sixty-five (65) years of age or older or handicapped persons
34 may award each class member an additional award where the court has made the
35 foregoing findings.
36 (3) An action under subsection (1) or (2) of this section may be com-
37 menced in the county in which the person against whom it is brought resides,
38 has his principal place of business, or is doing business, or in the county
39 where the transaction or any substantial portion thereof occurred.
40 (4) Any permanent injunction, judgment or order of the court made under
41 section 48-606, Idaho Code, shall be admissible as evidence in an action
42 brought under this section, that the defendant used or employed a method, act
43 or practice declared unlawful by this section.
1 (5) The court shall award court costs and attorney's fees to a prevailing
2 plaintiff in litigation filed pursuant to this section or to a prevailing
3 defendant if it finds that the plaintiff's action is spurious or brought for
4 harassment purposes only.
5 (6) Upon commencement of any action brought under this section, the clerk
6 of the court shall mail a copy of the complaint or other initial pleading to
7 the attorney general, and, upon entry of any judgment or decree in the action,
8 shall mail a copy of such judgment or decree to the attorney general.
9 SECTION 2. That Chapter 6, Title 48, Idaho Code, be, and the same is
10 hereby amended by the addition thereto of a NEW SECTION, to be known and des-
11 ignated as Section 48-621, Idaho Code, and to read as follows:
12 48-621. CONSUMER'S CLASS ACTION -- CONDITIONS -- NOTICES -- JUDGMENT. (1)
13 Any consumer entitled to bring an action under section 48-620, Idaho Code,
14 may, if the unlawful method, act or practice has caused damage to other con-
15 sumers similarly situated, bring an action on behalf of himself and other con-
16 sumers to recover damages or obtain other relief as provided in section
17 48-620, Idaho Code.
18 (2) The court shall permit the suit to be maintained on behalf of all
19 members of the represented class if all of the following conditions exist:
20 (a) It is impracticable to bring all members of the class before the
22 (b) The questions of law or fact common to the class are substantially
23 similar and predominate over the questions affecting the individual mem-
25 (c) The claims or defenses of the representative plaintiffs are typical
26 of the claims or defenses of the class;
27 (d) The representative plaintiffs will fairly and adequately protect the
28 interests of the class.
29 (3) If notice of the time and place of the hearing is served upon the
30 other parties at least ten (10) days prior thereto, the court shall hold a
31 hearing, upon motion of any party to the action which is supported by affida-
32 vit of any person or persons having knowledge of the facts, to determine if
33 any of the following apply to the action:
34 (a) A class action pursuant to subsection (2) of this section is proper;
35 (b) Published notice pursuant to subsection (4) of this section is neces-
36 sary to adjudicate the claims of the class;
37 (c) The action is without merit or there is no defense to the action.
38 (4) If the action is permitted as a class action, the court may direct
39 either party to notify each member of the class of the action. The party
40 required to serve notice may, with the consent of the court, if personal noti-
41 fication is unreasonably expensive or it appears that all members of the class
42 cannot be notified personally, give twenty (20) days' notice as provided in
43 section 60-109, Idaho Code, in a newspaper of general circulation in the
44 county in Idaho where the transaction occurred.
45 (5) The notice shall include the following:
46 (a) The court will exclude the member notified from the class if he so
47 requests by a specified date;
48 (b) The judgment, whether favorable or not, will include all members who
49 do not request exclusion.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
Amends Chapter 6, Title 48, Idaho Code, by the addition of a new
Section 48-620, Idaho Code, to provide a telephone customer
action and relief for venue, court costs and attorney's fees, for
the practice commonly known as "slamming"; and amends Chapter 6,
Title 48, Idaho Code, by addition of a new Section 48-621, Idaho
Code, to provide for a class action by consumers regarding
actions by a telephone company, carrier or cellular phone
company, for the practice commonly know as "slamming".
Name: Senator Gary Schroeder
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE S 1051