Hasty Ruminations

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Sunday, December 12, 2004

Teenagers in Washington State

Is this judge right, or is he as wacky as the ones in the rest of the country? Let's hear your thoughts:

SEATTLE, Washington (AP) -- Striking a blow for rebellious teenagers, the Washington Supreme Court ruled Thursday that state law prohibits parents from eavesdropping on a child's phone conversations.

The case reached the high court because of a purse-snatching.

A 17-year-old boy was convicted of the robbery, in part on testimony from his girlfriend's mother, who overhead him discussing the crime on the phone with her daughter. The daughter had taken a cordless phone into her bedroom and closed the door. In another room, her mother pressed the speakerphone button on an extension, listened in and took notes.

The court ruled that the daughter and her boyfriend had a reasonable expectation of privacy on the phone. Washington state law prohibits intercepting or recording conversations without the consent of all participants. "The Washington privacy statute puts a high value on the privacy of communications," Justice Tom Chambers wrote in the unanimous opinion.

The boyfriend will get a new trial.

Thanks, Ellen, for sending the article. What do you think?


  • At 10:20 PM, Blogger brendalove@gmail.com said…

    Hmmmmm...recording without permission is against the law here too...and if the mother just eavesdropped wouldn't that fall under hearsay evidence?

    Eavesdropping on teenagers - OK in instances of being a parent.
    Not OK as evidence to convict in court.


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