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Judge: County can not sue for 911 phone fees

September 8, 2016 News Extra

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Butler County can not sue telephone providers for failing to collect 911 fees, according to a ruling today in Butler County Court.

County Judge Marilyn Horan this morning upheld her prior decision to dismiss the county’s $10.9 million lawsuit against 15 telephone providers for not billing and collecting 911 fees assessed to customers.

Horan said state law stipulates the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, not the county, is the appropriate entity to enforce 911 fee collection from any companies.

Following her Aug. 11 dismissal of the lawsuit, the county submitted an affidavit from PEMA supporting its claims.

However, Horan said the contents of the affidavit did not alter the rationale behind her dismissal.

The fee is added to phone bills to help pay for 911 dispatch center operations in counties across the state.

The county already this morning has said it will appeal the decision in state Commonwealth Court.

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