The Appellate Group

State v. Wood

State v. Wood, 2023 UT 15 (Petersen, J.)

Criminal/Statutory Interpretation

The State wanted to admit some of Wood’s jail telephone calls as evidence against Wood. Wood moved to suppress the recordings arguing the interception of the calls violated the Interception of Communications Act (Act) which generally prohibits wiretapping. The district court denied the motion to suppress. The Utah Supreme Court affirmed, holding:

  • As a matter of first impression, the jail’s monitoring and recording of the calls did not run afoul of the Act because it fell within the Act’s consent exception. Specifically, Wood had been notified that the jail may record or monitor non-legal inmate calls, so he impliedly consented to those conditions by using the phone.
  • Practice Tips:
    • For the consent exception to the Act to apply in the correctional facility context, consent may be either express or implied. Concerning implied consent, the record must at least show that (1) the correctional facility sufficiently warned the inmate of recording or monitoring and (2) the inmate chose to use the phone anyway.
    • The Act allows information in authorized interceptions to be used in judicial proceedings so long as it was obtained because of an intercept conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

Read the full court opinion