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New York court won’t apply Pennsylvania wiretap law

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  1. Libel and Privacy
New York court won't apply Pennsylvania wiretap law12/04/95 NEW YORK--The New York wiretap statute applies to an interstate phone call…

New York court won’t apply Pennsylvania wiretap law

12/04/95

NEW YORK–The New York wiretap statute applies to an interstate phone call between Pennsylvania and New York if an alleged injury occurred in New York, the Supreme Court in New York City, a trial court, held in mid-September.

The court rejected an attempt by Michael Krauss to amend his libel complaint against the publishers of The Globe, a nationally- distributed tabloid, to include a claim under Pennsylvania’s wiretap statute.

The Pennsylvania law requires two-party consent to record a telephone conversation, while New York law requires only one-party consent. The court noted that in cases where New York law is in conflict with the laws of other states, New York courts usually apply the law of the place of the tort, or more specifically, the place where the injury occurred.

Reporters for The Globe allegedly recorded a telephone conversation between a prostitute in Philadelphia and Krauss, who was in New York City, in early March 1992. The court held that under such circumstances the New York wiretap law should apply, because any injury that was suffered by Krauss occurred in New York.

The court found that Krauss did not have a claim under the New York law because the prostitute had consented to having the phone conversation recorded.

Krauss sued The Globe for libel after it reported in mid-March 1992 that he had an encounter with the prostitute. Krauss is a newspaper columnist and television producer, as well as the former husband of television personality Joan Lunden. (Krauss v. Globe International, Inc.)