Legal News

Illinois Eavesdropping Law Held Unconstitutional
Download PDF
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...

A unanimous Illinois Supreme Court, while reversing the conviction of a person charged with secretly recording the conversation of a Cook County court reporter, held that the Illinois Eavesdropping Act was unconstitutional. The concerned statute requires a person to obtain consent before recording a person’s conversation.

The Illinois Supreme Court said the law was so overbroad that people can be prosecuted for recording anything from an argument on a street to a political debate.

  
What
Where


The court said, “The statute criminalizes the recording of conversations that cannot be deemed private: a loud argument on the street, a political debate on a college quad, yelling fans at an athletic event, or any conversation loud enough that the speakers should expect to be heard by others … None of these examples implicate privacy interests.”

Chief Justice Rita Garman also noted that the statute criminalized even the open recording of a conversation without consent and that it failed to distinguish between open and secret recordings.

In the instant case before the court, Annabel Melongo, a former employee of a now-dissolved charity, spent 18 months in jail while facing charges for violating the Illinois Eavesdropping Act. Melongo had secretly recorded her phone conversation with a Cook County court reporter and then posted those tapes on a personal website.

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!




Melongo’s trial ended in a hung jury, and ultimately the court found the statute to be unconstitutional.

The court observed that Melonogo was “an innocent party subject to a naked prohibition against disclosure,” and that it was irrelevant, “whether the contents of the recorded conversations were a matter of public interest because the recordings cannot be characterized as illegally obtained.”



The state argued that Melongo’s challenge of the law was inconsistent with her initial stand to face the criminal charges based upon an exemption in the statute. But the court said the change in stance was inconsequential. Garman observed, “The state does not explain why a criminal defendant may not argue in the alternative that the statute under which she was charged is unconstitutional and, failing that, that an exception to the statute excused her conduct.”



 

Interesting Legal Sites You May Like


BCG FEATURED JOB

Locations:

Keyword:



Search Now

Estate Planning and Trust Administration Associate Attorney

USA-CA-Woodland Hills

Woodland Hills office of our client seeks estate planning and trust administration associate attorne...

Apply Now

Trademark Attorney

USA-OR-Portland

Portland office of our client seeks trademark attorney with 5+ years of copyright experience. The ca...

Apply Now

Health Care Regulatory Attorney with 2+ Years Experience

USA-TX-Houston

Houston office of our client seeks mid-level healthcare attorney with 2+ years of regulatory, reimbu...

Apply Now

Junior Litigator/Associate Attorney

USA-DC-Washington

Washington, D.C. office of our client seeks junior litigator/associate attorney with 2-4 years of tr...

Apply Now

RELEVANT JOBS

Litigation Associate (Mid-Level) - Medical Malpractice - Garden City, NY

USA-NY-Garden City

Defense firm seeking mid-level associate for Garden City office to fill Medical Malpractice / Health...

Apply now

Attorney

USA-NV-Las Vegas

Prestigious Personal Injury Law Firm seeks an outstanding Attorney. Must be a Nevada licensed Att...

Apply now

Attorney

USA-TX-Beaumont

ASSOCIATE ATTORNEY CDA is seeking Associate Attorney to join the firm\'s Beaum...

Apply now

Legal Assistant- Bilingual

USA-NV-Las Vegas

Prestigious personal injury firm seeks superstar BILINGUAL legal assistant! Candidate MUST have...

Apply now

SEARCH IN ARCHIVE

To Top