2016 North Dakota Century Code
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TELEPHONE RECORDS PROTECTION
In this chapter, unless the context or subject matter otherwise requires:
1. "Customer" means the person who subscribes to telephone service from a telephone
company or in whose name such telephone service is listed and to whom the
telephone record pertains.
2. "Procure" in regard to a telephone record means to obtain by any means, whether
electronically, in writing, or in oral form, with or without consideration.
3. "Telephone" means any device used by a person for voice or other electronic
communications, in connection with the services of a telephone company, whether
such voice or other electronic communications are transmitted in analog, data, or any
4. "Telephone company" means any person that provides commercial telephone services
to a customer, regardless of the communications technology used to provide such
service, including traditional wireline or cable telephone service; cellular, broadband
PCS, or other wireless telephone service; microwave, satellite, or other terrestrial
telephone service; and voice over internet telephone service.
5. "Telephone record" means information retained by a telephone company that relates to
the telephone number dialed by the customer or other person using the customer's
telephone with such customer's permission, the incoming number of a call directed to
a customer or other person using the customer's telephone with such customer's
permission, or other data related to such call typically contained on a customer's
telephone bill, including the times the call started and ended, the duration of the call,
the time the call was made, and any charges applied. A telephone record does not
include information collected and retained by a customer utilizing caller identification or
similar technology or include a carrier network record.
51-34-02. Unauthorized or fraudulent procurement, sale, or receipt of telephone
records prohibited - Criminal penalties - Restitution.
1. A person may not:
a. Procure, attempt to procure, solicit, or conspire with another to procure, a
telephone record of any resident of this state without the authorization of the
customer or by fraudulent, deceptive, or false means;
b. Sell, or attempt to sell, a telephone record of any resident of this state without the
customer's authorization; or
c. Receive a telephone record of any resident of this state when such record has
been obtained without the customer's authorization or by fraudulent, deceptive, or
2. Any person who knowingly violates this section is guilty of a class C felony.
3. In addition to any other punishment, a person found guilty of an offense under this
section shall make restitution for any financial loss sustained by the customer or any
other person who suffered financial loss as the direct result of the offense.
51-34-03. Jurisdiction - Conduct outside this state - Venue - Multiple offenses.
1. Notwithstanding section 29-03-01.1, a person who, while outside this state, engages in
conduct in violation of section 51-34-02 is subject to prosecution under this chapter in
the courts of this state. Except as provided in subsection 2, the venue is in the county
in which the customer or victim resides or any other county in which any part of the
2. When a person commits violations of this section in more than one county involving
either one or more customers or victims or the commission of acts constituting an
element of the offense, the multiple offenses may be consolidated for commencement
of prosecution in any county where one of the offenses was committed.
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51-34-04. Nonapplicability to valid legal process and law enforcement.
1. This chapter does not apply to any person acting pursuant to a valid court order,
warrant, or subpoena, a subpoena by the attorney general pursuant to this chapter or
chapter 51-15, or other valid legal process.
2. This chapter does not prevent any action by a law enforcement agency, or any officer,
employee, or agent of such agency, to obtain telephone records in connection with the
performance of the official duties of the agency as authorized by law.
51-34-05. Permitted use by telephone companies.
1. This chapter does not prohibit a telephone company from obtaining, using, disclosing,
or permitting access to any telephone record, either directly or indirectly through its
agents or contractors:
a. As otherwise authorized by law;
b. With the lawful consent of the customer;
c. As may be necessarily incident to the rendition of the service or to the protection
of the rights or property of the telephone company, or to protect the customer of
those services and other carriers from fraudulent, abusive, or unlawful use of, or
subscription to, such services;
d. To a governmental entity, if the telephone company reasonably believes that an
emergency involving immediate danger of death or serious physical injury to any
person justifies disclosure of the information; or
e. To the national center for missing and exploited children, in connection with a
report submitted thereto under section 227 of the Victims of Child Abuse Act of
2. This chapter does not apply to or expand upon the obligations and duties of any
telephone company to protect telephone records beyond those otherwise established
by federal law or state law or both as set forth in section 51-34-06.
3. This chapter does not apply to a telephone company, and its agents or
representatives, who reasonably and in good faith act pursuant to subsection 2,
notwithstanding any later determination that the action was not in fact authorized.
51-34-06. Information security - No private claim for relief.
1. Telephone companies that maintain telephone records of a resident of this state shall
establish reasonable procedures to protect against unauthorized or fraudulent
disclosure of the records which could result in substantial harm or inconvenience to a
2. This section does not authorize a private claim for relief for a violation of this section.
51-34-07. Deceptive act or practice - Enforcement - Powers - Remedies - Venue.
The state's attorney or attorney general may enforce this chapter. In enforcing this chapter,
the attorney general has all the powers provided in chapter 51-15 and may seek all the
remedies in chapter 51-15. A violation of this chapter is a violation of chapter 51-15. The
remedies, duties, prohibitions, and penalties of this chapter are not exclusive and are in addition
to all other causes of action, remedies, and penalties under chapter 51-15 and as otherwise
provided by law. The attorney general may bring an action pursuant to this section in either the
county of the customer's residence or Burleigh County.
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Title 51 Sales and Exchanges
Chapter 51-34 Telephone Records Protection
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