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Substitute Senate Bill No. 332

Public Act No. 03-128

AN ACT CONCERNING CONSUMER COMPUTER EQUIPMENT LEASES AND UNSOLICITED ELECTRONIC MAIL ADVERTISING MATERIAL.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 42-406 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2003):

(a) During the period of a consumer lease, the following rules apply:

(1) A person that receives a payment in money from a lessee under a consumer lease shall furnish the lessee a written receipt for the payment.

(2) If a lessee so requests in a record, the holder, within two weeks after receiving the request, shall send to the lessee in a record, as requested, a statement of:

(A) The dates and amounts of the periodic payments that have been received by holders of the lease and the total amount of the remaining periodic payments;

(B) The lessee's total obligation due to satisfy the lease if terminated at a specified date before expiration, and a statement that the amount so due will be reduced by the realized value of the goods, if that is the case; and

(C) If the lease provides for a purchase option that may be exercised at the lessee's request, the purchase option price at the date specified in the request.

(3) In a statement under subdivision (2) of this subsection, an amount that is estimated must be so identified.

(4) A holder may not charge the lessee for furnishing one statement under each subparagraph of subdivision (2) of this subsection in each twelve-month period, but may charge a fee not to exceed five dollars for furnishing each additional statement during the same period.

(b) A holder of a lease for computer or related equipment, not more than one hundred twenty days and not less than thirty days prior to the expiration date of the lease, shall provide written notice, at no cost to the lessee, informing the lessee of the lease expiration date and the lessee's rights and obligations upon expiration of the lease and, if the lease provides for a purchase option for such computer or related equipment that may be exercised at the lessee's request, the purchase option price for such computer or related equipment as of the lease expiration date. For the purposes of this subsection, "computer" means a programmable, electronic device capable of accepting and processing data.

[(b)] (c) A holder, within two weeks after the lessee has discharged all of the lessee's obligations under the consumer lease, shall send to the lessee at the lessee's last known address a copy of the lease marked "satisfied", "paid in full" or similar term, or a separate record indicating satisfaction of the lease. The record of satisfaction does not release the lessee from liability under the lease for acts or events discovered by the holder after sending the record.

Sec. 2. Section 52-570c of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

(a) No person shall use a machine that electronically transmits facsimiles through connection with a telephone network or a device that automatically transmits a recorded telephone message to transmit unsolicited advertising material or an unsolicited telephone message which offers to sell goods or services.

(b) (1) No person shall send unsolicited advertising material by electronic mail, or cause such material to be sent by electronic mail, to an electronic mail address held by a resident of this state unless: (A) Such person identifies in the electronic mail a toll-free telephone number or a valid return electronic mail address that the recipient may use to unsubscribe or otherwise notify the sender to not send any further unsolicited electronic mail, and (B) the subject line begins with the letters "ADV".

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection, no person or entity shall send by electronic mail, or cause to be sent by electronic mail, unsolicited advertising material upon notification by a recipient of such recipient's request to not receive any further such material.

(3) For purposes of this subsection, (A) "person" does not include an electronic mail service provider, as defined in section 53-451, or an Internet access provider, (B) "Internet access provider" means a person who provides underlying network facilities utilized in the transmission of Internet services, and (C) electronic mail has "unsolicited advertising material" if it includes an advertisement for products or services and is sent without the consent of the recipient by a person with whom the recipient does not have an established business relationship, and electronic mail does not have "unsolicited advertising material" if the sender has the consent of the recipient to send such mail to the receiver, or if the sender has a prior or existing business relationship formed by voluntary communication between the sender and the recipient with or without an exchange of consideration, in response to the recipient's inquiry about, application for, purchase of or use of products or services offered by the sender.

(c) The provisions of this section shall not apply to tax-exempt nonprofit organizations or to political or candidate committees or candidates or solicitors, as defined in chapter 150.

[(b)] (d) Any person aggrieved by a violation of the provisions of [subsection (a) of] this section may bring a civil action in the Superior Court to enjoin further violations [and to recover the actual damages sustained by reason of such violation, together with costs and a reasonable attorney's fee, or two] and for five hundred dollars [, whichever is greater] for each violation, together with costs and a reasonable attorney's fee. No such action shall be brought but within two years from the date of the act complained of. For purposes of this subsection, each electronic mail sent in violation of subsection (b) of this section constitutes a separate and distinct violation.

Approved June 26, 2003