Michigan Recording Laws:
Michigan recording law stipulates that it is a two-party consent state*. In Michigan, it is a criminal offense to use any device to record, obtain, use or share communications, whether they’re wire, oral or electronic, without the consent of all contributing parties. This means that in Michigan you are not legally allowed to record a conversation you are taking part in unless all parties are in agreement. Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.539c *.
This state’s hidden camera laws also forbid the recording or sharing of illegally obtained images. Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.539d.
*The Michigan Court of appeals has precedent interpreting the wiretapping statue as only applying to a third party interception of a conversation. In Michigan if you are taking part in a conversation, you are allowed to record the conversation. This is due to an interpretation of the word eavesdrop by the Michigan Court of Appeals, so while the law is written as an ‘All Party Consent’ law, the interpretation of it in Michigan is that the term ‘eavesdrop’ only applies to outside third parties listening in.
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You may not record conversations without the consent of all involved parties.
However, one court has interpreted that Michigan’s eavesdropping law only applies to third parties, and decided it was legal for a contributing party to record a conversation without the other parties’ permission. Sullivan v. Gray, 324 N.W.2d 58 (Mich. Ct. App. 1982).
Michigan Video Recording Laws
In Michigan, it is illegal to install or use any device for observing, recording, transmitting, photographing, or eavesdropping upon the sounds or events that are happening in a private place without the consent of person(s) entitled to privacy in that place. It is also illegal to knowingly disseminate materials obtained in violation of Michigan’s video recording laws. Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.539d(1)(a)(b)
However, the installation of a security surveillance system in a residence is legal provided the installation is done at the request of the owner or principal occupant of that residence and not for lewd or lascivious purposes. For example, you are allowed to install a security camera but you’re not allowed to point it at your neighbors residence because he or she is entitled to privacy in that residence. Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.539d(2)
Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.539c: Infractions against Michigan’s eavesdropping law can be considered a felony and are subject to a maximum fine of up to $2,000 and up to two years in jail.
Mich. Comp. Laws §§ 750.539c, -d: Sharing information that one knows, or can be expected to know, was intercepted illegally through eavesdropping or video capture is considered a felony subject to a fine of up to $2,000 and a maximum of five years in prison.
Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.539d(3)(a)(i)(ii): Persons who violate or attempt to violate Michigan’s video recording laws may be found guilty of a felony and upon conviction may be punished by imprisonment not exceeding 2 years or a fine not exceeding $2000 or both. For a second or subsequent violation, the perpetrator may be found guilty of a felony and upon conviction may be punished by imprisonment not exceeding 5 years or a fine not exceeding $5000, or both.
Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.539d(3)(b): Disseminating materials obtained in violation of Michigan’s video recording laws is considered a felony punishable by imprisonment not exceeding 5 years or a fine not exceeding $5000, or both.
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Other Michigan Laws