11112Re: [infoguys-list] Is it legal to use a record someone in MN?
- Jul 2, 2007Betteye -
I do not know the qualifications of whomever might have informed you that it
is legal to record a conversation but I would consult with an attorney before
even thinking of recording in Michigan. Although I am not an attorney,
that is not how I read the law.
The statute below states that a private conversation legally cannot be
overheard or recorded without the consent of all participants. Illegal
eavesdropping can be punished as a felony carrying a jail term of up to two years and a
fine of up to $2,000.
In addition, any individual who divulges information he knows, or reasonably
should know, was obtained through illegal eavesdropping is guilty of a felony
punishable by imprisonment for up to two years and a fine of up to $2,000.
Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.539e. Civil liability for actual and punitive damages
also are sanctioned. Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.539h.
The exact statute reads:
750.539c Eavesdropping upon private conversation. Sec. 539c.
Any person who is present or who is not present during a private conversation
and who wilfully uses any device to eavesdrop upon the conversation without
the consent of all parties thereto, or who knowingly aids, employs or
procures another person to do the same in violation of this section, is guilty of a
felony punishable by imprisonment in a state prison for not more than 2 years
or by a fine of not more than $2,000.00, or both.
Even parents have limitations -
Under the Michigan statute, a parent may not vicariously consent to a
recording for a minor child. Williams v. Williams, 603 N.W. 2d 114 (Mich. Ct. App.
It is a felony to observe, photograph or eavesdrop on a person in a private
place without the person's consent. Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.539d. A private
place is a place where one may reasonably expect to be safe from intrusion or
surveillance, but not a place where the public has access. Mich. Comp. Laws §
And then you have at least one contrary court decision:
The eavesdropping statute has been interpreted by one court as applying only
to situations in which a third party has intercepted a communication, an
interpretation that makes it legal for a participant in a conversation to record
that conversation without the permission of other parties. Sullivan v. Gray,
324 N.W.2d 58 (Mich. Ct. App. 1982).
Bottom line: Michigan appears to be an ALL party state for ALL recordings.
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