Chapter 256

2007 -- S 0732 SUBSTITUTE A

Enacted 07/03/07





     Introduced By: Senators Jabour, Connors, and McBurney

     Date Introduced: February 15, 2007


It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:


     SECTION 1. Title 33 of the General Laws entitled "PROBATE PRACTICE AND

PROCEDURE" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following chapter:


     CHAPTER 33-27




     33-27-1. Short title. -- This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Access to

Decedents' Electronic Mail Accounts Act".


     33-27-2. Definitions. -- As used in this chapter:

     (1) "Electronic mail service provider" means any person who:

     (A) is an intermediary in sending or receiving electronic mail; and

     (B) provides to end-users of electronic mail services the ability to send or receive

electronic mail.

     (2) "Electronic mail account" means:

     (A) all electronic mail sent or received by an end-user of electronic mail services

provided by an electronic mail service provider that is stored or recorded by such electronic mail

service provider in the regular course of providing such services; and

     (B) any other electronic information stored or recorded by such electronic mail service

provider that is directly related to the electronic mail services provided to such end-user by such

electronic mail service provider, including, but not limited to, billing and payment information.


     33-27-3. Access to decedents' electronic mail. -- An electronic mail service provider

shall provide, to the executor or administrator of the estate of a deceased person who was

domiciled in this state at the time of his or her death, access to or copies of the contents of the

electronic mail account of such deceased person upon receipt by the electronic mail service

provider of:

     (A) a written request for such access or copies made by such executor or administrator,

accompanied by a copy of the death certificate and a certified copy of the certificate of

appointment as executor and administrator; and

     (B) an order of the court of probate that by law has jurisdiction of the estate of such

deceased person, designating such executor or administrator as an agent for the subscriber, as

defined in the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 USC 2701, on behalf of his/her estate,

and ordering that the estate shall first indemnify the electronic mail service provider from all

liability in complying with such order.


     33-27-4. Violation of federal law. -- Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to require

an electronic mail service provider to disclose any information in violation of any applicable

federal law.


     33-27-5. Severability. -- If any provision of this chapter or the application of it to any

person or circumstances is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or

applications of the chapter, which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application,

and to this end the provisions of this chapter are declared to be severable.


     SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.



LC01978/SUB A/3