2014 New York Laws
GBS - General Business
Article 26 - (390 - 399-ZZZ) MISCELLANEOUS
399-P - Telemarketing; use of automatic dialing-announcing devices and placement of consumer telephone calls.
399-p. Telemarketing; use of automatic dialing-announcing devices and placement of consumer telephone calls. 1. Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
(a) "automatic dialing-announcing device" means any automatic equipment which incorporates a storage capability of telephone numbers to be called and is used, working alone or in conjunction with other equipment, to disseminate a prerecorded message to the telephone number called without the use of an operator;
(b) "person" means any natural person, firm, organization, partnership, association or corporation, or other entity, whether for-profit or not-for-profit;
(c) "consumer" means a natural person who is solicited to purchase, lease or receive a good or service for personal, family or household use;
(d) "consumer telephone call" means a call made to a telephone number by a telephone solicitor, whether by device, live operator, or any combination thereof, for the purpose of soliciting a sale of any consumer goods or services for personal, family or household purposes to the consumer called, or for the purpose of soliciting an extension of credit for consumer goods or services to the consumer called, or for the purpose of obtaining information that will or may be used for the direct solicitation of a sale of consumer goods or services to the consumer called or an extension of credit for such purposes; provided, however, that "consumer telephone call" shall not include a call made by a telephone corporation, as defined by subdivision seventeen of section two of the public service law, in response to a specific inquiry initiated by a consumer regarding that consumer's existing or requested telephone service; and
(e) "telephone solicitor" means a person who makes or causes to be made a consumer telephone call.
2. No person shall operate an automatic dialing-announcing device, nor place any consumer telephone call, except in accordance with the provisions of this section. The use of such device by any person, either individually or acting as an officer, agent, or employee of a person operating automatic dialing-announcing devices, is subject to the provisions of this section.
3. Whenever telephone calls are placed through the use of an automatic dialing-announcing device, such device shall do all of the following:
(a) state at the beginning of the call the nature of the call and the name of the person or on whose behalf the message is being transmitted and at the end of such message the address, and telephone number of the person on whose behalf the message is transmitted, provided such disclosures are not otherwise prohibited or restricted by any federal, state or local law; and
(b) disconnect the automatic dialing-announcing device from the telephone line upon the termination of the call by either the person calling or the person called.
4. No person shall operate an automatic dialing-announcing device which uses a random or sequential number generator to produce a number to be called.
5. No automatic dialing-announcing device shall be used to call and no consumer telephone call shall be placed to an emergency telephone line including but not limited to any 911 or E-911 line, or any emergency line of any volunteer fire company or fire department; any emergency medical service, ambulance service, voluntary ambulance service or hospital ambulance service as defined in section three thousand one of the public health law; any hospital, nursing home, or residential health care facility as defined in section twenty-eight hundred one of the public health law; any adult care facility as defined in section two of the social services law; or any law enforcement agency or to the telephone line of any guest room or patient room of any hospital, nursing home, or residential health care facility as defined in section two thousand eight hundred one of the public health law, or any adult care facility as defined by section two of the social services law. It shall not constitute a violation of this subdivision if the person who places such a call can affirmatively establish that the call was placed inadvertently despite good faith efforts on the part of such person to comply with the provisions of this section and such person has implemented a procedure to prevent subsequent calls from being placed to a particular prohibited telephone number.
6. A telephone solicitor shall not make a consumer telephone call to a consumer unless the telephone solicitor conforms with subparagraph one of paragraph b of subdivision six of section three hundred ninety-nine-pp of this article. Nothing contained herein shall be deemed to limit, annul, alter, or affect the provisions of subdivision three of this section.
6-a. No telephone solicitor or person who places any consumer telephone call or who operates an automatic dialing-announcing device and no employer of any such telephone solicitor or person shall intentionally cause to be installed, or shall intentionally utilize, any blocking device or service to prevent the name and/or telephone number of such solicitor or person, or the name and/or telephone number of his or her employer, from being displayed on a caller identification device of the recipient of any such consumer telephone call. A violation of this subdivision shall be subject to the provisions of subdivision eight of this section.
7. (a) Federal, state or local municipalities, or any subdivision thereof, using an automatic dialing-announcing device for emergency purposes shall be exempted from the provisions of this section.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a) of this subdivision, any entity which operates a telephone warning or alert system which utilizes any such device for emergency purposes shall also be exempted from the provisions of this section.
8. Whenever there shall be a violation of this section, an application may be made by the attorney general in the name of the people of the state of New York to a court or justice having jurisdiction to issue an injunction, and upon notice to the defendant of not less than five days, to enjoin and restrain the continuance of such violations; and if it shall appear to the satisfaction of the court or justice, that the defendant has, in fact, violated this section an injunction may be issued by such court or justice enjoining and restraining any further violation, without requiring proof that any person has, in fact, been injured or damaged thereby. In any such proceeding, the court may make allowances to the attorney general as provided in paragraph six of subdivision (a) of section eighty-three hundred three of the civil practice law and rules, and direct restitution. Whenever the court shall determine that a violation of subdivision three, four or five of this section has occurred, the court may impose a civil penalty of not more than two thousand dollars per call, up to a total of not more than twenty thousand dollars, for calls placed in violation of such subdivisions within a continuous seventy-two hour period. Whenever the court shall determine that a violation of subdivision six of this section, or a violation of subdivision six-a of this section, has occurred, the court may impose a civil penalty of not more than two thousand dollars. In connection with any such proposed application, the attorney general is authorized to take proof and make a determination of the relevant facts and to issue subpoenas in accordance with the civil practice law and rules.
9. In addition to the right of action granted to the attorney general pursuant to this section, any person who has received a telephone call in violation of subdivision three, four or five of this section may bring an action in his own name to enjoin such unlawful act or practice, an action to recover his actual damages or fifty dollars, whichever is greater, or both such actions. The court may, in its discretion, increase the award of damages to an amount not to exceed three times the actual damages up to one thousand dollars, if the court finds the defendant willfully or knowingly violated such subdivisions. The court may award reasonable attorney's fees to a prevailing plaintiff.
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