Text: H.R.3786 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (10/09/2007)


110th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 3786


To amend the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to allow individuals called to military service to terminate telecommunications contracts entered into before the individual receives notice of a permanent change of station or deployment orders.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

October 9, 2007

Ms. Zoe Lofgren of California (for herself, Mr. Frank of Massachusetts, Mr. Berry, Mr. Gordon of Tennessee, Mr. Spratt, and Mr. Brady of Pennsylvania) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs


A BILL

To amend the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to allow individuals called to military service to terminate telecommunications contracts entered into before the individual receives notice of a permanent change of station or deployment orders.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Servicemembers Telecom Contract Relief Act”.

SEC. 2. Termination by servicemembers of telecommunications contracts entered into before permanent change of station of deployment orders.

(a) Termination.—Title III of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (50 U.S.C. App. 531 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

“SEC. 309. Termination of telecommunications contracts.

“(a) Termination by servicemember.—A person in military service who is party to a contract described in subsection (b) may, at the person’s option, terminate the contract at any time after—

“(1) the date of the entry of the person into military service; or

“(2) the date of the military orders of the person described in subsection (b)(2), as the case may be.

“(b) Covered contracts.—This section applies to a telecommunications contract for cellular phone service, cable or satellite television service, or internet service if—

“(1) the contract is executed by or on behalf of a person who thereafter and during the term of the contract enters military service (or receives order to enter military service) under a call or order specifying a period of not less than 90 days (or who enters military service under a call or order specifying a period of 90 days or less and who, without a break in service, receives orders extending the period of military service to a period of not less than 90 days); or

“(2) the person enters into the contract while in military service and thereafter receives military orders for a permanent change of station outside of the continental United States, or to deploy with a military unit for a period of not less than 90 days, to a location that does not support continuation of the service under the contract.

“(c) Manner of termination.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—Termination of a contract under subsection (a) is made by delivery by the person in military service of written notice of such termination, and a copy of the servicemember’s military orders, to the other party to the contract (or to that person’s grantee or agent).

“(2) NATURE OF NOTICE.—Delivery of notice under paragraph (1) may be accomplished—

“(A) by hand delivery;

“(B) by private business carrier; or

“(C) by placing the written notice in an envelope with sufficient postage and with return receipt requested, and addressed as designated by the party to be notified (or that party’s grantee or agent), and depositing the written notice in the United States mails.

“(d) Date of contract termination.—Termination of a contract under subsection (a) is effective on the day on which the notice is delivered in accordance with subsection (c).

“(e) Arrearages and other obligations and liabilities.—Contract amounts unpaid for the period preceding the effective date of the contract termination shall be paid on a prorated basis.

“(f) Relief to other party.—Upon application by the other party to the contract to a court before the termination date provided in the written notice, relief granted by this section to a person in military service may be modified as justice and equity require.

“(g) Penalties.—

“(1) MISDEMEANOR.—Any person who knowingly seizes, holds, or detains the personal effects, security deposit, or other property of a person in military service (or of a dependent of a person in military service) who lawfully terminates a contract covered by this section, or who knowingly interferes with the removal of such property from premises covered by such contract, for the purpose of subjecting or attempting to subject any of such property to a claim for contract payments accruing subsequent to the date of termination of such lease, or attempts to do so, shall be fined as provided in title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

“(2) PRESERVATION.—The remedy and rights provided under this section are in addition to and do not preclude any remedy for wrongful conversion otherwise available under law to the person claiming relief under this section, including any award for consequential or punitive damages.”.

(b) Clerical amendment.—The table of contents in section 1(b) of such Act is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 308 the following new item:


“Sec. 309. Termination of telecommunications contracts.”.