Sec. 123.001. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:

(1) "Communication" means speech uttered by a person or information including speech that is transmitted in whole or in part with the aid of a wire or cable.

(2) "Interception" means the aural acquisition of the contents of a communication through the use of an interception device that is made without the consent of a party to the communication, but does not include the ordinary use of:

(A) a telephone or telegraph instrument or facility or telephone and telegraph equipment;

(B) a hearing aid designed to correct subnormal hearing to not better than normal;

(C) a radio, television, or other wireless receiver; or

(D) a cable system that relays a public wireless broadcast from a common antenna to a receiver.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Amended by:

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1058 (H.B. 2931), Sec. 3.02, eff. January 1, 2019.

Sec. 123.002. CAUSE OF ACTION. (a) A party to a communication may sue a person who:

(1) intercepts, attempts to intercept, or employs or obtains another to intercept or attempt to intercept the communication;

(2) uses or divulges information that he knows or reasonably should know was obtained by interception of the communication; or

(3) as a landlord, building operator, or communication common carrier, either personally or through an agent or employee, aids or knowingly permits interception or attempted interception of the communication.

(b) This section does not apply to a party to a communication if an interception or attempted interception of the communication is authorized by Title 18, United States Code, Section 2516.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 123.003. DEFENSE. (a) A switchboard operator or an officer, employee, or agent of a communication common carrier whose facilities are used in the transmission of a wire communication may intercept, disclose, or use a communication in the normal course of employment if engaged in an activity that is necessary to service or for the protection of the carrier's rights or property. A communication common carrier may not use service observation or random monitoring except for mechanical or service quality control checks.

(b) It is a defense to an action under Section 123.002 that an interception, disclosure, or use of a communication is permitted by this section.

(c) A defendant must establish by a preponderance of the evidence a defense raised under this section.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 123.004. DAMAGES. A person who establishes a cause of action under this chapter is entitled to:

(1) an injunction prohibiting a further interception, attempted interception, or divulgence or use of information obtained by an interception;

(2) statutory damages of $10,000 for each occurrence;

(3) all actual damages in excess of $10,000;

(4) punitive damages in an amount determined by the court or jury; and

(5) reasonable attorney's fees and costs.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1049, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.