Any person whose wire, electronic, or oral communication is intercepted, disclosed, or used in violation of this chapter shall (i) have a civil cause of action against any person who intercepts, discloses, or uses, or procures any other person to intercept, disclose, or use, such communications and (ii) be entitled to recover from any such person:

Terms Used In Virginia Code 19.2-69

  • Court: means any court vested with appropriate jurisdiction under the Constitution and laws of the Commonwealth. See Virginia Code 19.2-5
  • Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
  • Litigation: A case, controversy, or lawsuit. Participants (plaintiffs and defendants) in lawsuits are called litigants.
  • Person: means any employee or agent of the Commonwealth or a political subdivision thereof, and any individual, partnership, association, joint stock company, trust or corporation;

    "Readily accessible to the general public" means, with respect to a radio communication, that such communication is not (i) scrambled or encrypted; (ii) transmitted using modulation techniques whose essential parameters have been withheld from the public with the intention of preserving the privacy of such communication; (iii) carried on a subcarrier or other signal subsidiary to a radio transmission; (iv) transmitted over a communication system provided by a communications common carrier, unless the communication is a tone-only paging system communication; or (v) transmitted on frequencies allocated under Part 25, subpart D, E, or F of Part 74, or Part 94 of the Rules of the Federal Communications Commission, unless, in the case of a communication transmitted on a frequency allocated under Part 74 that is not exclusively allocated to broadcast auxiliary services, the communication is a two-way voice communication by radio;

    "Remote computing service" means the provision to the public of computer storage or processing services by means of an electronic communications system;

    "Trap and trace device" means a device or process that captures the incoming electronic or other impulses that identify the originating number or other dialing, routing, addressing and signaling information reasonably likely to identify the source of a wire or electronic communication; however, such information shall not include the contents of any communication;

    "User" means any person or entity who uses an electronic communication service and is duly authorized by the provider of such service to engage in such use;

    "Wire communication" means any aural transfer made in whole or in part through the use of facilities for the transmission of communications by the aid of wire, cable, or other like connection, including the use of such connection in a switching station, furnished or operated by any person engaged in providing or operating such facilities for the transmission of communications. See Virginia Code 19.2-61

1. Actual damages but not less than liquidated damages computed at the rate of $400 a day for each day of violation or $4,000, whichever is higher, provided that liquidated damages shall be computed at the rate of $800 a day for each day of violation or $8,000, whichever is higher, if the wire, electronic, or oral communication intercepted, disclosed, or used is between (i) persons married to each other; (ii) an attorney and client; (iii) a licensed practitioner of the healing arts and patient; (iv) a licensed professional counselor, licensed clinical social worker, licensed psychologist, or licensed marriage and family therapist and client; or (v) a clergy member and person seeking spiritual counsel or advice;

2. Punitive damages; and

3. A reasonable attorney fee and other litigation costs reasonably incurred.

A good faith reliance on a court order or legislative authorization shall constitute a complete defense to any civil or criminal action brought under this chapter or under any other law.

Code 1950, § 19.1-89.9; 1973, c. 442; 1975, c. 495; 1988, c. 889; 2010, c. 343; 2015, c. 672; 2020, c. 900.