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Criminal Justice & Legal System

Bill headed to state Senate would allow parents to eavesdrop on kids

hand with cell phone in it
The Parents Union
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Flickr Creative Commons HTTP://MICHRAD.IO/1LXRDJM
Snooping on your kid's cell phone could earn you a felony charge under current law.

Parents would be free to monitor the communications of their minor children under a bill that overwhelmingly passed in the Michigan House today by a vote of 105-3.

Under current law, a parent could be charged with a felony for snooping on a child's phone. The bill would add a parental exemption to Michigan's prohibition against eavesdropping. 

"The bill basically says we are going to allow parents, foster parents, or guardians, who have the legal responsibility and authority over the child, that they can eavesdrop now," said the bill's sponsor, State Rep. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby Township. "They can look into the internet without worrying about being charged."

"All I'm doing is trying to make sure is there's clarity in the law that says that if I'm supposed to be responsible for a child's action, then, darn it, I don't want to not have the ability to make sure I know what they're doing," said Lucido.

Lucido said the bill gives parents a tool to protect their kids from bad influences and possible harm.

"With all the electronics that are out there today," said Lucido, "I think now, more so than ever, we have to stay very vigilant."

Under the bill, a parent would not be allowed to monitor their child's communications with the child's attorney, child custody investigator, or, unless there's a reasonable fear of danger to the child, the other custodial parent.