2021 Nebraska Revised Statutes
Chapter 86 - Telecommunications and Technology
86-297 - Interception; civil action.
86-297. Interception; civil action.
(1) Any person whose wire, electronic, or oral communication is intercepted, disclosed, or intentionally used in violation of sections 86-271 to 86-295 and 86-298 to 86-2,103 may in a civil action recover from the person or entity which engaged in that violation such relief as may be appropriate.
(2) In an action under this section, appropriate relief includes:
(a) Such preliminary and other equitable or declaratory relief as may be appropriate;
(b) Damages under subsection (3) of this section; and
(c) Reasonable attorney's fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred.
(3)(a) In an action under this section, if the conduct in violation of sections 86-271 to 86-295 and 86-298 to 86-2,103 is the private viewing of a private satellite video communication that is not scrambled or encrypted or if the communication is a radio communication that is transmitted on frequencies allocated for remote pickup broadcast stations under subpart D of 47 C.F.R. part 74, as such regulations existed on January 1, 2002, that is not scrambled or encrypted and the conduct is not for a tortious or illegal purpose or for purposes of direct or indirect commercial advantage or private commercial gain, then the court shall assess damages as follows:
(i) If the person who engaged in such conduct has not previously been enjoined under subsection (5) of section 86-290 and has not been found liable in a prior civil action under this section, the court shall assess the greater of the sum of actual damages suffered by the plaintiff or statutory damages of not less than fifty dollars and not more than five hundred dollars; or
(ii) If on one prior occasion the person who engaged in such conduct has been enjoined under subsection (5) of section 86-290 or has been found liable in a civil action under this section, the court shall assess the greater of the sum of actual damages suffered by the plaintiff or statutory damages of not less than one hundred dollars and not more than one thousand dollars.
(b) In any other action under this section, the court may assess as damages whichever is the greater of:
(i) The sum of the actual damages suffered by the plaintiff and any profits made by the violator as a result of the violation; or
(ii) Statutory damages of whichever is the greater of one hundred dollars a day for each day of violation or ten thousand dollars.
(4) A good faith reliance on (a) a court warrant or order, a grand jury subpoena, a legislative authorization, or a statutory authorization, (b) a request of an investigative or law enforcement officer under section 86-293, or (c) a good faith determination that section 86-290 permitted the conduct complained of shall be a complete defense against any civil or criminal action brought under sections 86-271 to 86-295 and 86-298 to 86-2,103 or any other law.
(5) A civil action under this section may not be commenced later than two years after the date upon which the claimant first discovered or had a reasonable opportunity to discover the violation.
- Laws 1988, LB 899, § 8;
- R.S.1943, (1999), § 86-707.02;
- Laws 2002, LB 1105, § 159.
Whether reasonable attorney fees should be awarded under this section is addressed to the trial court's discretion, and a trial court is not required to provide an explanation of such an award in the absence of a party's request for specific findings. Brumbaugh v. Bendorf, 306 Neb. 250, 945 N.W.2d 116 (2020).