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Fri Mar 2, 2012, 01:33 PM

Judge rules (Illinois) eavesdropping law unconstitutional

Judge rules (Illinois) eavesdropping law unconstitutional

Source: Chicago Tribune

Judge rules eavesdropping law unconstitutional
By Jason Meisner
Tribune reporter
11:53 a.m. CST, March 2, 2012


A Cook County judge today ruled the state’s controversial eavesdropping law unconstitutional.

The law makes it a felony offense to make audio recordings of police officers without their consent even when they’re performing their public duties.

Judge Stanley Sacks, who is assigned to the Criminal Courts Building, found the eavesdropping law unconstitutional because it potentially criminalizes “wholly innocent conduct.”

The decision came in the case of Christopher Drew, an artist who was arrested in December 2009 for selling art on a Loop street without a permit. Drew was charged with a felony violation of the eavesdropping law after he used an audio recorder in his pocket to capture his conversations with police during his arrest.

Read more: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-judge-rules-eavesdropping-law-unconstitutional-20120302,0,4122460.story

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Some background may be found here:
http://blogs.chicagotribune.com/news_columnists_ezorn/2012/03/eavesdropping-roundup.html


Friday, March 02, 2012
Eavesdropping roundup
By Megan Crepeau

Let's talk eavesdropping.

Well, not eavesdropping exactly - the Illinois Eavesdropping Act, which bans any recording of public conversations or public officials. A Cook County judge is expected to rule on its constitutionality today, so what better time to look back on the citizens who have a stake in this ruling?

First there's Tiawanda Moore. When two policemen showed up at her home, allegedly to talk her out of filing a sexual harassment complaint against another officer, she pulled out her smartphone and started recording the conversation. That decision led to a couple of weeks in jail and a lengthy court fight. Conventional wisdom has it that the jury let her off on a technicality, because they thought the ban on recording public officials was wrong-headed in the first place.

How about Chris Drew, a street artist arrested downtown in December of 2009 for selling art on the sidewalk without a permit. When police found out he had recorded the arrest, they added the eavesdropping charge - putting him in front of a judge for a class one felony instead of just a misdemeanor.

There's also Jerry Johnson, who got in trouble for recording a traffic stop downstate. Cartenous Turner did the same thing, but got off a little easier when the State's Attorney decided the eavesdropping law was unconstitutional. Tyrone Gillett claims that police officers assaulted him after seeing him take video of a scuffle downtown.

more...

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Arrow 7 replies Author Time Post
Reply Judge rules (Illinois) eavesdropping law unconstitutional (Original post)
Bozita Mar 2012 OP
ChairmanAgnostic Mar 2012 #1
saras Mar 2012 #3
ChairmanAgnostic Mar 2012 #4
DCKit Mar 2012 #2
amorro Jul 2012 #5
amorro Nov 2012 #6
sallyjojo Feb 2013 #7

Response to Bozita (Original post)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 01:45 PM

1. I've always found this statute to be offensive.

this is very welcome news. There are many reasons, valid and legal, to record others, especially the police.

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Response to ChairmanAgnostic (Reply #1)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 03:47 PM

3. And I think there's ALWAYS the right to record yourself, whether any other party approves or not

 

...but our legal system doesn't agree at all.

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Response to saras (Reply #3)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 04:32 PM

4. agreed.

This statute has shocked many, especially experienced lawyers, who tended to ignore its presence.

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Response to Bozita (Original post)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 01:52 PM

2. Damn those activist judges!!1!11!11

 

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Response to Bozita (Original post)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 06:15 PM

5. Melongo’s Eavesdropping Case Dismissed: Another Blow To Illinois Eavesdropping Law

Upon the defendant's motion[1], Judge Goebel filed his written order[2] dismissing Melongo's eavesdropping case on June 19th, 2012. The state hasn't decided if it will appeal.
defendant's motion: http://www.illinoiscorruption.net/documents/MotionRequestAmendedOrder.pdf
judge's order: http://tinyurl.com/cqq6ahg
Melongo's motion : http://tinyurl.com/6nqv2se
State's response: http://tinyurl.com/73fwecf

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Response to Bozita (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 08:11 PM

6. NBC Investigative Report On Another Eavesdropping Case

This is a two-parts investigative reports on Melongo’s Eavesdropping Case:

http://mywabashvalley.com/fulltext?nxd_id=278052

http://mywabashvalley.com/fulltext?nxd_id=278082

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Response to Bozita (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 12:41 PM

7. I am not a lawyer,

I didn't read all of the links in this post, but I would think a work around strategy would be to argue that one was simply recording themselves and the other participants happened to be present during the recordingl. They were not eavedropping per se, the police officers were uninvited guests during the recording.

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