Lawmaker wants to protect parents against eavesdropping charges

LANSING, MICH. - Parents, beware!

Under Michigan law, eavesdropping on your child’s phone conversations on a landline could land you in jail.

But state Rep. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby Township, hopes to give parents an exemption from the law that makes snooping on a child’s phone call a felony punishable by up to two years in prison and a $2,000 fine.

“How are we supposed to protect our children? If they can prevent harm from coming to the child, they should have the right,” Lucido said. “If a father or mother, or legal guardian doesn’t have the right to protect their own child, how low have we stooped to in this state?”

His interest was piqued by an ongoing Macomb County case in which a father was concerned about his teenage son and picked up the phone in a different room to listen in on the conversation. The mother of the teen on the other end of the line caught wind of the snooping, complained and the man was charged with eavesdropping.

In Michigan, it’s legal for a person to record a phone conversation that they’re having without the consent of the person on the other end of the line. But it’s illegal for a third party to listen to or record the conversation.

A bill introduced by Lucido last week would give parents an exemption from the eavesdropping law.

“I don’t think it’s fair and I don’t think it’s just,” he said. “Parents should have a right if they live in the household to do what’s necessary to intervene in a situation.”

Parents can check their child’s cell phone to see who they’re calling or texting, he noted. A landline should be no different.

 

Other laws introduced in the Legislature last week:

HB 48604863,48694874: Add U.S. citizenship requirements for higher education financial aid, grants and scholarships. Sponsors: Reps. Jeff Noble, R-Plymouth, Klint Kesto, R-Commerce Township, Gary Glenn, R-Midland, Shane Hernandez, R-Port Huron.

HB 4861-4862: Require bonding for emergency managers and exempt them from government immunity from lawsuits. Sponsor: Rep. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby Township.

HB 4864-4865: Allow access to birth records in adoption proceedings. Sponsor: Rep. Robert Kosowski, D-Westland.

HB 4866-4867: Provide for mental health services funding and electronic monitoring devices for older adults in nursing homes and primary health care settings. Sponsor: Rep. Robert Kosowski, D-Westland.

HB 4868: Provide for excused absence in public schools for the purpose of playing “Taps” at a military funeral for a deceased veteran. Sponsor: Rep. Robert Kosowski, D-Westland.

HB 4870: Expand treatment for drug court program participants. Sponsor: Rep. Klint Kesto, R-Commerce Township.

HB 4871: Modify the qualifying period for assessment for economic development projects. Sponsor: Rep. Stephanie Chang, D-Detroit.

HB 4872: Prohibit housing discrimination relating to military status. Sponsor: Rep. Wendell Byrd, D-Detroit.

HB 4873: Allow temporary placement of a vehicle registration plate in a rear window of a car. Sponsor: Rep. Henry Yanez, D-Sterling Heights.

HB 4875:Prescribe the time period for mortgage foreclosures for veterans. Sponsor: Rep. Terry Sabo, D-Muskegon.

HB 4876: Modify the requirement to obtain a license to possess a pistol. Sponsor: Rep. Triston Cole, R-Mancelona.

HB 4877: Include pregnant individuals as victims of crimes in child abuse cases. Sponsor: Daniela Garcia, D-Holland.

HB 4878: Exempt interns from the workforce opportunity wage act. Sponsor: Rep. Abdullah Hammoud, D-Dearborn.

HB 4879: Repeal the local financial stability and choice act. Sponsor: Rep. LaTanya Garrett, D-Detroit.

HB 4880-4881: Modify the law to allow for more vehicle window tinting and clarify the definition of “clearly visible” when it comes to a vehicle registration plate on a car. Sponsor: Rep. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby Township.

HB 4882: Expand the procedures to assert and insanity defense to include misdemeanors. Sponsor: Rep. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby Township.

HB 4883: Begin the inflation adjustments on the cap on property tax credits to 2019. Sponsor: Rep. Peter Lucido. R-Shelby Township.

HB 4884: Prohibit aquaculture in the Great Lakes, inland lakes and streams. Sponsor: Rep. Gary Howell, R-North Branch.

HB 4885-4886: Increase the penalties for stealing, embezzling or converting property from a vulnerable adult. Sponsor: Rep. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby Township.

HB 4887: Establish a hold process for pawned goods. Sponsor: Rep. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby Township.

HB 4888: Prohibit communities from enacting ordinances to ban charitable organizations from soliciting donations in roadways. Sponsor: Rep. Dan Lauwers, R-Brockway.

HB 4889: Require that accountants engaged in audits of public bodies be bonded and carry liability insurance. Sponsor: Rep. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby Township.

HB 4890: Require the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association to disclose the computations it uses to set rates for no-fault auto insurance. Sponsor: Rep. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby Township.

HB 4891: Allow parental eavesdropping. Sponsor: Rep. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby Township.

HB 4892: Require additional training in election practices for city clerks and the Secretary of State to perform audits of election results. Sponsor: Rep. Lee Chatfield, R-Levering.

HB 4893: Provide for a tax on electronic cigarettes. Sponsor: Rep. Thomas Albert, R-Lowell.

HB 4894: Provide for a tax credit for the purchase of higher education textbooks. Sponsor: Rep. Steve Marino, R-Mt. Clemens.

For more information and to track bills, go to www.legislature.mi.gov.

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