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Mother's eavesdropping illegal rules WA Supreme Court

 
 
Reply Fri 10 Dec, 2004 12:21 pm
Quote:
Mom's snooping on daughter violated privacy act, court rules

By REBECCA COOK
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

In a victory for rebellious teenagers everywhere, the state Supreme Court ruled yesterday that a mother violated Washington's privacy act by eavesdropping on her daughter's phone conversation.

Privacy advocates hailed the ruling.

The mother, however, was unrepentant.

"It's ridiculous! Kids have more rights than parents these days," said Carmen Dixon, 47, of Friday Harbor. "My daughter was out of control, and that was the only way I could get information and keep track of her. I did it all the time."

The Supreme Court ruled that Dixon's testimony against a friend of her daughter's should not have been admitted in court because it was based on the intercepted conversation.

The justices unanimously ordered a new trial for Oliver Christensen, who had been convicted of second-degree robbery partly because of Dixon's testimony.

The case started with a purse snatching that shocked the island town of Friday Harbor, population 2,000. On Oct. 24, 2000, two young men knocked down an elderly woman, breaking her glasses, and stole her purse. Christensen, then 17, was a suspect.

San Juan County Sheriff Bill Cumming asked Dixon, whose daughter was friends with Christensen, to be alert for any possible evidence.

When Christensen called the Dixon house later, Lacey Dixon, then 14, took the cordless phone into her bedroom and shut the door. Carmen Dixon hit the "speakerphone" button on the phone base and took notes on the conversation -- in which Christensen said he knew the whereabouts of the purloined purse.

The ruling will not likely result in parents being prosecuted for snooping, Cumming said.

But it forbids courts and law enforcement from using the fruits of such snooping.
Source

When you the above carefully, you'll notice that this is more a legal than a parenting affair:
The ruling will not likely result in parents being prosecuted for snooping, but it forbids courts and law enforcement from using the fruits of such snooping.
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