PA 07-206—sSB 1043
General Law Committee
Energy and Technology Committee
AN ACT CONCERNING THE PROTECTION OF CONSUMERS FROM UNLICENSED CONTRACTORS, CRIMINAL SIMULATION AND THE RESALE OF TICKETS TO ENTERTAINMENT EVENTS
SUMMARY: This act (1) eliminates the prohibition against reselling tickets (“scalping”); (2) requires ticket resellers to provide refunds if (a) the event is cancelled or (b) the ticket does not grant admission to the event or is not as advertised; and (3) generally prohibits reselling tickets within 1,500 feet of an event on the day of the event. In addition, the act increases the penalty for criminal simulation.
The act also increases the criminal penalty for violating the licensing law overseen by the occupational licensing boards.
EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007
Eliminated Service Charge Cap
The act eliminates the prohibition against selling, offering to sell, or attempting to sell tickets to sporting or entertainment events to be held in Connecticut at a price greater than $3 above the price, including tax, printed on the face of the ticket.
A violator of the prohibition was guilty of ticket scalping. A first offense was a class C misdemeanor (see Table on Penalties). A second offense was a class A misdemeanor. Any subsequent offense was a class D felony. The sale of each ticket constituted a separate offense. Prior law allowed an owner to authorize someone to sell tickets at a price above the cap.
The act requires a reseller of a ticket to an entertainment event to refund the purchase price if (1) the event is cancelled, (2) the ticket the purchaser receives does not grant admission to the event the ticket describes, or (3) the ticket fails to conform to the reseller's advertisement of it. It defines “entertainment event” to include sporting events, concerts, or theatrical or operatic performances. The refunded amount must include all service fees and delivery charges the purchaser paid. The act requires resellers to provide each purchaser with the reseller's name, address, telephone number, or other information needed to allow the purchaser contact the reseller to obtain a refund, if necessary. Someone who fails to give a refund if the event is cancelled or the ticket does not grant admission to the event commits a class B misdemeanor.
The act prohibits reselling, offering to resell, or soliciting the resale of a ticket to an entertainment event on the day of the event within 1,500 feet of the physical structure in which the entertainment event takes place. But it allows the owner or operator of the structure or the event, or a duly authorized agent, to authorize such resales in writing. The restriction also does not apply to a ticket reseller who (1) resells a ticket for no more than face value or (2) has a permanent office within 1,500 feet of the structure, if the reseller sells, offers to resell or solicits the resale only within the office in person, by mail or telephone, or over the Internet. Someone who violates these restrictions commits a class A misdemeanor.
The act increases the penalty for criminal simulation by reclassifying it from a class A misdemeanor to a class D felony. Criminal simulation occurs when (1) with intent to defraud, someone makes or alters an object in a way to make it appear to have an antiquity, rarity, source, or authorship that it does not have or (2) with knowledge of its true character and with intent to defraud, someone issues or possesses such an object.
OCCUPATIONAL LICENSING LAW VIOLATIONS
Under prior law, the penalty for violating the licensing law overseen by the occupational licensing boards was a fine of $200 per violation for:
1. working without a license or apprentice permit;
2. willfully employing, or supplying for employment, someone who does not have a license or apprentice permit;
3. willfully pretending to qualify for a license or permit;
4. working after the expiration of a license or permit; or
5. violating any other provision of the licensing law.
The act's provision (eliminated by PA 07-4, June Special Session (see BACKGROUND)) instead makes anyone who engages in any of the prohibited acts guilty of a class B misdemeanor (see Table on Penalties). If the court imposes restitution and determines that a contractor cannot fully repay a victim within the normal probationary period (up to two years for a class B misdemeanor), the law authorizes the court to impose a probationary period of up to five years.
The occupational licensing boards are the examining boards for Electrical Work; Plumbing and Piping Work; Heating, Piping, Cooling, and Sheet Metal Work; Elevator Installation, Repair, and Maintenance Work; Fire Protection Sprinkler Systems Work; and Automotive Glasswork and Flat Glasswork.
PA 07-188 has a substantially similar but slightly different provision increasing the penalty for violating the occupational licensing laws. PA 07-4, June Special Session eliminates the occupational licensing provision in this act.
OLR Tracking: DD: SS: JL: dw