Did You Know It’s against the Law to ‘Eavesdrop’ in South Dakota?
Okay be honest, we've all eavesdropped on someone else's conversation before.
Chances are you've probably overheard a couple of people with some really juicy gossip, or maybe a couple of co-workers bitchin' about the boss, another co-worker, an affair someone else in the building is having, I mean there are a million and one reasons why people secretly listen in on other people's secret and not so secret conversations.
Throughout time, eavesdropping has always been considered a breach of etiquette. People who practice the art of eavesdropping are typically looked down upon in society.
If you're the type of person that likes to eavesdrop and you live in South Dakota, be advised, eavesdropping in this state is actually against the law!
As strange as that may seem, it's supposedly true. According to the website Grunge.com, in the South Dakota Code of Ordinances, eavesdropping is strictly prohibited.
Surveillance laws within the state of South Dakota clearly state that it's a class one misdemeanor to "eavesdrop" on someone without their consent.
Well damn! Hearing that just took the fun out of life for a lot of snoopy people I'm guessing?
So knowing that, are still willing to run the risk of secretly spying on those really juicy conversations that can be overheard coming from your roommate, co-worker, husband, wife, your kids? How about all the great arguments your neighbor has from time to time with their spouse that turn into shouting matches?
Are there any exceptions to this strange law?
Again, according to the article posted on Grunge.com, South Dakota law makes no provisions for extremely urgent or at the very least, plausible reasons to eavesdrop. So in theory, if your spouse is cheating, or a couple of people you know are talking smack about you or someone else you know, you're breaking the law if you choose to listen in while living in South Dakota.
Here is how the ordinance pertaining to "eavesdropping" in South Dakota reads:
(22-21-1: "Eavesdropping — Privacy — Misdemeanor") "No person may, except as authorized by law... trespass on property with intent to subject anyone to eavesdropping or other surveillance in a private place... A person who violates this section is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor."
In case you're wondering, South Dakota law states a Class 1 misdemeanors carry a maximum penalty of up to one year's imprisonment and a $2,000 fine!
Yikes! Kind of a stiff penalty for being a snoop, don't you think?
Now I know, people get busted for eavesdropping all the time. And the chances of getting prosecuted for eavesdropping are slim to none, and slim just left town.
Although, I have a feeling President Nixon might beg to differ. (I.e. that little Watergate fiasco.)
It still might be a good idea to practice minding your own business to be safe. Especially if the person you're eavesdropping on knows anything about South Dakota law.
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