Code of the District of Columbia

§ 23–554. Authorization for recovery of civil damages.

(a) Any person whose wire or oral communication is intercepted, disclosed, or used in violation of this subchapter shall —

(1) 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

(2) be entitled to recover from any such person —

(A) actual damages, but not less than liquidated damages computed at the rate of $100 a day for each day of violation, or $1,000 whichever is higher;

(B) punitive damages; and

(C) a reasonable attorney’s fee and other litigation costs reasonably incurred.

(b) Good faith reliance on a court order or legislative authorization shall constitute a complete defense to an action brought under this section or any other law.

(c) As used in this section, the term “person” includes the District of Columbia. The District of Columbia shall not assert any governmental immunity to avoid liability under this section. Judgment against the District of Columbia shall not constitute a bar to action against any other person.


(July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 626, Pub. L. 91-358, title II, § 210(a).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 23-554.

1973 Ed., § 23-554.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 23-556.

Cross References

Return of property by Property Clerk, see § 5-119.06.