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§ 3-902. Visual surveillance with prurient intent

West's Annotated Code of MarylandCriminal LawEffective: April 10, 2012

West's Annotated Code of Maryland
Criminal Law (Refs & Annos)
Title 3. Other Crimes Against the Person
Subtitle 9. Surveillance and Other Crimes Against Privacy
Effective: April 10, 2012
MD Code, Criminal Law, § 3-902
Formerly cited as MD CODE Art. 27, § 579B
§ 3-902. Visual surveillance with prurient intent
(a)(1) In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.
(2) “Camera” includes any electronic device that can be used surreptitiously to observe an individual.
(3) “Female breast” means a portion of the female breast below the top of the areola.
(4) “Private area of an individual” means the naked or undergarment-clad genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or female breast of an individual.
(5)(i) “Private place” means a room in which a person can reasonably be expected to fully or partially disrobe and has a reasonable expectation of privacy, in:
1. an office, business, or store;
2. a recreational facility;
3. a restaurant or tavern;
4. a hotel, motel, or other lodging facility;
5. a theater or sports arena;
6. a school or other educational institution;
7. a bank or other financial institution;
8. any part of a family child care home used for the care and custody of a child; or
9. another place of public use or accommodation.
(ii) “Private place” includes a tanning room, dressing room, bedroom, or restroom.
(6)(i) “Visual surveillance” means the deliberate, surreptitious observation of an individual by any means.
(ii) “Visual surveillance” includes surveillance by:
1. direct sight;
2. the use of mirrors; or
3. the use of cameras.
(iii) “Visual surveillance” does not include a casual, momentary, or unintentional observation of an individual.
Scope of section
(b) This section does not apply to a person who without prurient intent:
(1) conducts filming by or for the print or broadcast media;
(2) conducts or procures another to conduct visual surveillance of an individual to protect property or public safety or prevent crime; or
(3) conducts visual surveillance and:
(i) holds a license issued under Title 13 or Title 19 of the Business Occupations and Professions Article; and
(ii) is acting within the scope of the person's occupation.
(c) A person may not with prurient intent conduct or procure another to conduct visual surveillance of:
(1) an individual in a private place without the consent of that individual; or
(2) the private area of an individual by use of a camera without the consent of the individual under circumstances in which a reasonable person would believe that the private area of the individual would not be visible to the public, regardless of whether the individual is in a public or private place.
(d) A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or a fine not exceeding $2,500 or both.
Civil action
(e)(1) An individual who was under visual surveillance in violation of this section has a civil cause of action against any person who conducted or procured another to conduct the visual surveillance.
(2) In an action under this subsection, the court may award actual damages and reasonable attorney's fees.
Other remedies
(f) This section does not affect any legal or equitable right or remedy otherwise provided by law.
Effect of section
(g) This section does not affect the application of § 3-901 of this subtitle.


Added by Acts 2002, c. 26, § 2, eff. Oct. 1, 2002. Amended by Acts 2003, c. 165, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2003; Acts 2004, c. 25, § 1, eff. April 13, 2004; Acts 2004, c. 361, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2004; Acts 2006, c. 292, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2006; Acts 2012, c. 66, § 1, eff. April 10, 2012.
Formerly Art. 27, § 579B.
MD Code, Criminal Law, § 3-902, MD CRIM LAW § 3-902
Current with all legislation from the 2023 Regular Session of the General Assembly. Some statute sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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