Louisiana

Date: 
August 1, 2012

Summary of statute(s): Louisiana’s Electronic Surveillance Act bars the recording, interception, use or disclosure of any oral or telephonic communication by means of any mechanical or electronic device without the consent of at least one party to the conversation. The state also prohibits the recording and disclosure of images intercepted in violation of its video voyeurism laws. Violators can face both civil and criminal penalties.

In-person conversations: A person cannot overhear or tape a private conversation to which that person is not openly present and participating or listening, unless consent to record is given by at least one of the parties to the conversation. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 15:1303.

Electronic communications: Similarly, the statute prohibits the willful interception of any telephone or wire communication absent the consent of at least one party to the communication. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 15:1303.

Hidden cameras: The state’s video voyeurism law bars the use of any type of hidden camera to observe or record a person where that person has not consented if the recording “is for a lewd or lascivious purpose.” La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 14:283.

Criminal penalties: A violation of the state’s eavesdropping law, whether by recording or disclosing the contents of a communication without proper consent, carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years of hard labor and a $10,000 fine. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 15:1303. Violation of the state’s video voyeurism law can be punishable by a prison sentence anywhere from two to 10 years of hard labor and a court fine. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 14:283(B).

Civil suits: Anyone whose confidential communications are intercepted, disclosed or used in violation of the state’s eavesdropping law may recover in a civil suit the payment of actual and punitive damages, attorney fees and other litigation costs. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 15:1312.

Disclosing recordings: Louisiana bars the transfer by e-mail, the Internet or a commercial online service any photo or film images obtained in violation of the state’s video voyeurism law. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 14:283(A). The state also bars the disclosure or use of the contents of any oral or electronic communication either knowing or having reason to know it was intercepted in violation of the state’s eavesdropping laws. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 15:1303.