Recording Telephone Calls
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Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-601: A person who is a party to a wire, oral or electronic communication, or who has obtained the consent of at least one party, can lawfully record a communication and divulge the contents of the recorded communication unless he has a criminal or tortious purpose for doing so. Violations are punishable as felonies with jail sentences of between two and 12 years and fines not exceeding $5,000. Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 39-13-602, 40-35-111.
Under the statute, consent is not required for the taping of a non-electronic communication uttered by a person who does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in that communication. See definition of "oral communication," Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-6-303.
Anyone whose communications have been unlawfully intercepted can sue to recover the greater of actual damages, $100 per day of violation or $10,000, along with punitive damages, attorney fees and litigation costs. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-603.
Recording or disseminating a communication carried out through a cellular or cordless telephone, or disseminating the contents with knowledge of their illegal origin, without the consent of at least one party, can be punished as a felony with a potential prison sentence of between one and six years and a fine not to exceed $3,000. Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 39-13-604, 40-35-111.
It is a misdemeanor to photograph, film or observe a person without consent where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy, when the photographing, filming or viewing "would offend or embarrass an ordinary person" and is done for sexual purposes. Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 39-13-605, 39-13-607. Dissemination of a photograph or videotape taken in violation of these provisions is a felony. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-605(2).
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