Can a taped conversation be used to present evidence?

05/04/2009 - Courts - State: MS #16541

Full Question:

Can a taped conversation be used to present evidence in all cases? Only one side was aware of conversation. Is there a way to have this evidence dismissed from the court?

Answer:

The following are MS statutes dealing with intercepted conversations. Mississippi allows the interception of a communication if the interceptor is a party to the communication or has received the prior consent of a party to the communication.

§ 41-29-503. Admissibility of evidence obtained in violation of this article.

The contents of an intercepted wire, oral or other communication and evidence derived from an intercepted wire, oral or other communication may not be received in evidence in any trial, hearing or other proceeding in or before any court, grand jury, department, officer, agency, regulatory body, legislative committee, or other authority of the United States or of this state or a political subdivision of this state if the disclosure of that information would be in violation of this article. The contents of an intercepted wire, oral or other communication and evidence derived from an intercepted communication may be received in a civil trial, hearing or other proceeding only if the civil trial, hearing or other proceeding arises out of a violation of the criminal law of this state.

§ 41-29-531. Exceptions to civil liability for violation of this article.

This article shall not apply to:
(a) An operator of a switchboard, or an officer, employee or agent of a communication common carrier whose facilities are used in the transmission of a wire communication, intercepts a communication, or who discloses or uses an intercepted communication in the normal course of employment while engaged in an activity that is a necessary incident to the rendition of service or to the protection of the rights or property of the carrier of the communication;
(b) An officer, employee or agent of a communication common carrier who employs or uses any equipment or device which may be attached to any telephonic equipment of any subscriber which permits the interception and recording of any telephonic communications solely for the purposes of business service improvements;
(c) An officer, employee or agent of a communication common carrier who provides information, facilities or technical assistance to an investigative or law enforcement officer who is authorized as provided by this article to intercept a wire, oral or other communication;
(d) A person acting under color of law who intercepts a wire, oral or other communication if the person is a party to the communication, or if one (1) of the parties to the communication has given prior consent to the interception; or
(e) A person not acting under color of law who intercepts a wire, oral or other communication if the person is a party to the communication, or if one (1) of the parties to the communication has given prior consent to the interception unless the communication is intercepted for the purpose of committing any criminal or tortious act in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States or of this state, or for the purpose of committing any other injurious act.

§ 41-29-511. Disclosure and use of information obtained from intercepted communication; privileged communications.

(1) An investigative or law enforcement officer who, by any means authorized by this article, obtains knowledge of the contents of a wire, oral or other communication or evidence derived from such communication may disclose the contents or evidence to another investigative or law enforcement officer to the extent that the disclosure is appropriate to the proper performance of the official duties of the officer making or receiving the disclosure.
(2) An investigative or law enforcement officer who, by any means authorized by this article, obtains knowledge of the contents of a wire, oral or other communication or evidence derived from such communication may use the contents or evidence to the extent the use is appropriate to the proper performance of his official duties.
(3) A person who receives, by any means authorized by this article, information concerning a wire, oral or other communication or evidence derived from a wire, oral or other communication intercepted in accordance with the provisions of this article may disclose the contents of such communication or the evidence derived from such wire, oral or other communication while giving testimony under oath in any proceeding held under the authority of the United States, of this state, or of a political subdivision of this state.
(4) An otherwise privileged wire, oral or other communication intercepted in accordance with, or in violation of, the provisions of this article does not lose its privileged character, and any evidence derived from such privileged communication against the party to the privileged communication shall be considered privileged also.
(5) When an investigative or law enforcement officer, while engaged in intercepting wire, oral or other communications in a manner authorized by this article, intercepts wire, oral or other communications relating to offenses other than those specified in the order of authorization, the contents of and evidence derived from the communication may be disclosed or used as provided by subsections (1) and (2) of this section. Such contents and any evidence derived therefrom may be used under subsection (3) of this section when authorized by a judge of competent jurisdiction where the judge finds, upon subsequent application, that the contents were otherwise intercepted in accordance with the provisions of this article. The application shall be made as soon as practicable.


Please see the information at the following links:

http://definitions.uslegal.com/w/wiretapping/
http://definitions.uslegal.com/a/admissible-evidence/

05/04/2009 - Category: Courts - State: MS #16541

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