Can a taped conversation be used to present evidence?

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?
05/04/2009   |   Category: Courts   |   State: Mississippi   |   #16541

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.

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