The Legislature finds and determines that:

(1)  Wire communications are normally conducted through facilities which form part of an interstate network. The same facilities are used for interstate and intrastate communications.

Terms Used In Utah Code 77-23a-2

  • Contents: when used with respect to any wire, electronic, or oral communication includes any information concerning the substance, purport, or meaning of that communication. See Utah Code 77-23a-3
  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
(2)  In order to protect effectively the privacy of wire and oral communications, to protect the integrity of court and administrative proceedings, and to prevent the obstruction of intrastate commerce, it is necessary for the legislature to define the circumstances and conditions under which the interception of wire and oral communications may be authorized and to prohibit any unauthorized interception of these communications and the use of the contents thereof in evidence in courts and administrative proceedings.

(3)  Organized criminals make extensive use of wire and oral communications in their criminal activities. The interception of such communications to obtain evidence of the commission of crimes or to prevent their commission is an indispensable aid to law enforcement and the administration of justice.

(4)  To safeguard the privacy of innocent persons, the interception of wire or oral communications when none of the parties to the communication has consented to the interception should be allowed only when authorized by a court of competent jurisdiction and should remain under the control and supervision of the authorizing court. Interception of wire and oral communications should further be limited to certain major types of offenses and specific categories of crime with assurance that the interception is justified and that the information obtained thereby will not be misused.

Enacted by Chapter 15, 1980 General Session