State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_15A > GS_15A-299


Discontinuation ofTelecommunications Services.

§ 15A‑299. Discontinuation of telecommunications services used for unlawful purposes.

(a)        The legislaturefinds that some persons use telecommunications services to violate State orfederal criminal law. The legislature further finds that some persons usetelecommunications services or technology, such as call forwarding and cellularradio transmission, to avoid detection or arrest.

(b)        A customer of atelecommunications company operating within the State may usetelecommunications services only for lawful purposes.

(c)        If a local, State,or federal law enforcement officer acting within the scope of the officer'sduties obtains evidence that telecommunications services are being used or havebeen used by a customer or by the employee or agent of the customer to violateState or federal criminal law, the officer may request either the districtattorney or the Attorney General as appropriate to apply to the district courtof the county in which the suspected violation of State or federal criminal lawoccurred for an order requiring the telecommunications company to discontinueservice to the customer. The court shall hold a hearing on the application assoon as possible, but no sooner than 48 hours after notice of the applicationfor discontinuation of service is delivered to the address at which thetelecommunications services are furnished or to the address to which bills fortelecommunications services are mailed, according to the telecommunicationscompany records. Notice must also be given to the registered agent for theservice of process upon the telecommunications company at least 48 hours priorto the hearing. Notices required under this section shall be given pursuant tothe provisions of Rule 4 of the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure. If thecourt finds clear and convincing evidence that the telecommunications servicesare being used or have been used to violate State or federal criminal law, thecourt may order the telecommunications company to discontinue such serviceimmediately.

(d)        Telecommunicationsservices discontinued under this section may be reinstated only by court order,and call forwarding or message referrals, whether recorded or live, may not beprovided until reinstatement of service is ordered by the court. The court mayorder reinstatement of telecommunications services if it finds that thecustomer is not likely to use the services to violate State or federal criminallaw. The standard of proof shall be the same as that used for the disconnectorder.

(e)        Atelecommunications company shall be held harmless from liability to any personwhen complying with any court order issued under this section. (1997‑372,s. 1.)