2006 Regular Session
To: Judiciary B; Public Utilities
By: Representative Martinson
AN ACT TO CREATE THE FLORAL TRANSACTION AND CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT; TO DEFINE CERTAIN TERMS; TO PROHIBIT DECEPTIVE BUSINESS PRACTICES; TO PROVIDE A CAUSE OF ACTION; TO PROVIDE FOR THE APPLICABILITY OF THIS ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Floral Transaction and Consumer Protection Act."
SECTION 2. The following words and phrases when used in this act shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
(a) "Directory assistance" means the disclosure of telephone number information in connection with an identified telephone service subscriber by means of a live operator or automated service.
(b) "Local telephone directory" means a listing of telephone numbers that is distributed by a telephone company or directory publisher to subscribers located in the local exchanges contained in the directory. The term shall also include directory assistance and electronic listings.
(c) "Local telephone number" means a telephone number with a local exchange used by the provider of telephone service for telephones physically located within the area covered by the local telephone directory in which the number is listed. The term does not include long distance numbers or 800-, 888- or 900-exchange numbers listed in a local telephone directory.
(d) "Supplier" means a person that solicits telephone orders for floral arrangements whether or not the person deals directly with a consumer.
SECTION 3. It shall be considered a deceptive business practice and unlawful for a supplier to misrepresent its geographic location by listing a fictitious or assumed business name in a local telephone directory if all of the following apply:
(a) The listing fails to identify the locality and state of the supplier's business.
(b) The calls to the local telephone number are routinely forwarded or otherwise transferred to a supplier's business location that is outside the calling area covered by the local telephone directory.
(c) The supplier's business location is located in a county that is not contiguous to a county in the calling area covered by the local telephone directory.
SECTION 4. A person may petition a court to enjoin the conduct prohibited by Section 3 (relating to prohibited deceptive business practice). The court may impose a civil fine of up to Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) per day until the supplier complies with the order to enjoin the prohibited conduct. The court may award reasonable attorney fees and costs to the person bringing the action if the court finds that the violation was willful.
SECTION 5. (1) The provisions of this act shall apply to telephone listings in a local telephone directory published or updated for the calling area at least ninety (90) days after the effective date of this section.
(2) The provisions of this act shall not apply to:
(a) An owner, or personnel of an owner, of any medium in which an advertisement appears or through which an advertisement is disseminated; or
(b) A publisher or distributor of a local telephone directory in which an advertisement or local telephone number appears or through which the advertisement or number is disseminated.
SECTION 6. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.