2019 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 30 - Criminal Offenses
Article 12 - Abuse of Privacy
Section 30-12-11 - Right of privacy; damages.

Universal Citation: NM Stat § 30-12-11 (2019)

A. Any person whose wire or oral communication is intercepted, disclosed or used in violation of this act [30-12-1 to 30-12-11 NMSA 1978] shall:

(1) have a civil cause of action against any person who intercepts, discloses or uses, or procures any other person to intercept, disclose or use such communications; and

(2) be entitled to recover from any such person actual damages, but not less than liquidated damages computed at the rate of one hundred dollars ($100) for each day of violation or one thousand dollars ($1,000), whichever is higher; punitive damages; and a reasonable attorney's fee and other litigation costs reasonably incurred.

B. A good faith reliance on a court order or on the provisions of this act shall constitute a complete defense to any civil or criminal action.

C. Any communications common carrier which in good faith acts in reliance upon a court order or in compliance with any of the provisions of this act shall not be liable for any civil or criminal action.

History: 1953 Comp., § 40A-12-1.10, enacted by Laws 1973, ch. 369, § 11.

ANNOTATIONS

Severability clauses. — Laws 1973, ch. 369, § 12, provided for the severability of the act if any part or application thereof is held invalid.

"Any person who intercepts" construed. — The meaning of "any person who intercepts" includes persons who have participated in the steps necessary to effectuate an unauthorized interception of communications which results in the violation of an individual's privacy. Templin v. Mountain Bell Tel. Co., 1982-NMCA-024, 97 N.M. 699, 643 P.2d 263, cert. quashed, 98 N.M. 51, 644 P.2d 1040.

Civil action permitted whether or not conviction achieved. — The civil cause of action provided for in this section may be pursued regardless of whether the defendant has been convicted under 30-12-1 NMSA 1978. Templin v. Mountain Bell Tel. Co., 1982-NMCA-024, 97 N.M. 699, 643 P.2d 263, cert. quashed, 98 N.M. 51, 644 P.2d 1040.

Corporations as well as individuals may be liable in damages if they participate in setting up unauthorized interceptions of a customer's telephone communications. Templin v. Mountain Bell Tel. Co., 1982-NMCA-024, 97 N.M. 699, 643 P.2d 263, cert. quashed, 98 N.M. 51, 644 P.2d 1040.

Duty of telephone company. — A telephone company has a duty to obtain the valid consent of a customer before placing an extension of the customer's phone in another person's residence. Templin v. Mountain Bell Tel. Co., 1982-NMCA-024, 97 N.M. 699, 643 P.2d 263, cert. quashed, 98 N.M. 51, 644 P.2d 1040.

Am. Jur. 2d, A.L.R. and C.J.S. references. — 62A Am. Jur. 2d Privacy §§ 54, 254.

Limitation of actions: invasion of right of privacy, 33 A.L.R.4th 479.

Construction and application of state statutes authorizing civil cause of action by person whose wire or oral communication is intercepted, disclosed, or used in violation of statutes, 33 A.L.R.4th 506.

Eavesdropping on extension telephone as invasion of privacy, 49 A.L.R.4th 430.

Plaintiff's rights to punitive or multiple damages when cause of action renders both available, 2 A.L.R.5th 449.

Application to extension telephones of Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (18 USCS §§ 2510 et seq.), pertaining to interception of wire communications, 58 A.L.R. Fed. 594.

Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. New Mexico may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.