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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Mom's eavesdropping violated Privacy Act, Supreme Court rules

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

SEATTLE -- The state Supreme Court has ruled that the Privacy Act prohibits a parent from eavesdropping on a child's phone conversations.

The case came to the Supreme Court because of a purse-snatching in Friday Harbor. A 17-year-old boy was convicted of second-degree robbery, based in part on testimony from his girlfriend's mom, 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, the mom pressed the "speakerphone" button on the base of the phone, listened to the conversation 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 consent from all participants.

"The Washington privacy statute puts a high value on the privacy of communications," Justice Tom Chambers wrote in the unanimous opinion.

The daughter's boyfriend will get a new trial.

The case is State of Washington v. Oliver C. Christensen, No. 74839-0.

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Code name: Felix
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Interesting to see how the Supreme Court took on that case, on defense of a little thieve, regarding a 17 year old's right to privacy. What's next for parents? Jail time for forcing kids to wash their hands?
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
She listened and took notes.

I did not respect my kids privacy rights when I thought something fishy was going on.

I have no regrets about it, either.
 

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Children and their rights?"

Minor children living in a parents home have the right to not have their phone conversations ..."Monitered" by a parent.......Bullshit.I know where this notion belongs........
 

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Depending upon how the law is written, it could be that only one of those "activist judges" you folks loathe so much could have done otherwise.

Here's an example that I'm familiar with: Under Federal law governing confidentiality of alcohol and drug abuse treatment in federally-assisted programs (42 CFR, Part 2), release of information generally must be with the signed consent of the patient. The way the law is written, it's the "patient", not "the patient, custodial parent, or legal guardian". This means that a parent cannot release their kid's clinical record for inspection by someone else (such as the kid's doc, the kid's shrink, or even by the parent themselves!) except upon the kid's - THE KID'S - written approval.

That's BS, clear sabotage of parental rights. And any judge who doesn't uphold it is making instead of interpreting law, because that's what the stupidly-written law says.

Question for the legal-beagles out there: Juries have a mechanism for activism when they think that application of the law is unjust - Jury nullification. Do judges have anything similar?

Judges take a lot of flack for stupid stuff done by legislators (in statutes) or bureaucrats (in regulations) because it's in court that the rubber meets the road.
 

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Code name: Felix
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I set the "rights" at home. They know what to do and how to do it, otherwise the choice is theirs.......Move out!

My 23, going for a PhD and working full time, living at home, my 22 working PT and back to school, living at home and believe me, I don't give a hoot about the fact that they are adults, under my roof you do as I say. period.
 

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That's just about the most rediculous thing I've ever heard of. Why if I told my parents that they didn't have the right to snoop at 17, they'd still be kicking my butt to this very day!:buttkick:
 

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I have to agree with all of the above. I have three kids, one that will not live by my rules and is not welcome to live in my home. One that has cleaned up her act and now lives at home and tows the line nicely and the youngest one that just turned 17 and he tows the line or else. You can have privacy in my home, but your room and anything in it is subject to being searched at any time I feel like it. If at anytime you feel you are being treated unjustly you are more than welcome to move your young ass out and excercise your rights and freedoms, until then if you live under my roof you will live by my rules and this includes holding down a job, going to school, and paying rent.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Dzerzhinsky said:
Question for the legal-beagles out there: Juries have a mechanism for activism when they think that application of the law is unjust - Jury nullification. Do judges have anything similar?
No judge has a right to ignore the law and dispense his own brand of justice. There is no judicial "nullification".

However, that seems to be what SCOTUS and some other appellate courts have been doing for about 70 years now.
They are just very clever with interpretation and judicial notice of facts not even offered as evidence.
 

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I agree with all of the above......my mom was one of the snoopiest people (is that a word) well anyway--you know what I mean. I was mad as hell at the time all this was going on, but you know--had it not been for her intervention---well I don't want to imagine what could've happened. I appreciate now that I'm older :)
 

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As I think of it, found myself agreeing with the court. But pay close attention to what the court is saying:

A conviction based upon evidence obtained by parental snooping that violates privacy laws won't stand. Basicly, application of the exclusionary rule. So the boyfriend walks.

But nobody went after mom for snooping. If they had, I'd feel much, much different about this, because then they would, in fact, be meddling in whether or not she can eavesdrop on her daughter's conversations.

But tossing out evidence that was gained in a manner that the State isn't allowed to use to get it is OK with me. What is actually happening here is not an increase in governmental power over what parents can do - it's a restriction on what the government can do.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Exclusionary rule only applies to government or their agents.

Kid got off, I think due to laws on phone eavesdropping.
 

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Custer said:
Exclusionary rule only applies to government or their agents.

Kid got off, I think due to laws on phone eavesdropping.
Well, point I was trying to make was that the kid got off because the evidence against him was obtained in a manner that violated laws on phone evesdropping, limiting the ability of the government to use evidence gained through evesdropping - but nobody went after mom for violating those laws, so the government did not meddle in her evesdropping on her kid's phone conversations.

Nobody mandated that mom quit evesdropping on her daughter's phone conversations, nobody is going after her for having violated phone privacy laws. So both phone privacy laws are preserved while mom continues to annoy her daughter.

Again, had anyone gone after mom for violating the phone privacy laws, I'd then feel much different about this.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Mom goes through kid's purse without kid's consent. Finds coke and list of contacts who are selling it to daughter.

Mom turns it over to police. They go and make arrests.

What result, Counselor Smeg?
 

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I think daughter would beat the rap because the chain of evidence had been contaminated by mom being in it, and that names on a list aren't enough to get a conviction of those selling to the daughter even were the court to admit it into evidence.

In the case under discussion in this thread, the evidence was gained illegally, since mom broke the law by evesdropping. So wouldn't the exclusionary rule apply?

I don't think any law is broken when a mom rummages around in her daughter's purse, so anything she finds would not have been gained illegally. I think that's a key difference.

So while I think the coke and the list would be admissable as evidence against the daughter and against the folks on the list, I think any reasonably-competent defense attorney could beat the rap against the daughter, and any defense attorney who couldn't beat the rap against the folks on the list should probably be disbarred for incompetence unless there was also some more convincing evidence that they'd sold dope to the daughter.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Exclusionary rule only applies against the government when it illegally obtains evidence. It does include a private citizen unless you can show the citizen was somehow doing it as an agent of the police. People turn over evidence to the police all the time that they have obtained by ill gotten means and it is not excluded. This case to me is strange and somehow must be due to some quirky aspect of phone laws that I don't know much about.

Maybe the fact pattern I created is not enough to convict, but it would be part of the evidence used to further investigate, indict and convict without the "fruit of the posioned tree" doctrine kicking in.
 

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Custer, if I were to burglarize my neighbor's house and rip off his kiddie-porn collection and turn it over to the cops, would the kiddie-porn collection be admissable as evidence against my neighbor so long as I'm not a cop and not acting as an agent of the cops?

Hypothetical, of course. I'd keep it.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I think it would. Think of how many times criminals are given immunity for their crimes to testify against others including co-conspirators.
 
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