WomensLaw is not just for women. We serve and support all survivors, no matter their sex or gender.

Legal Information: Maryland

Statutes: Maryland

View all
Updated: 
August 13, 2019

§ 3-903. Camera surveillance

“Camera” defined

(a) In this section, “camera” includes any electronic device that can be used surreptitiously to observe an individual.

Scope of section

(b) This section does not apply to:

(1) an adult resident of the private residence where a camera is placed;

(2) a person who places or procures another to place a camera on real property without the intent to conduct deliberate surreptitious observation of an individual inside the private residence;

(3) a person who has obtained the consent of an adult resident, or the adult resident’s legal guardian, to place a camera on real property to conduct deliberate surreptitious observation of an individual inside the private residence;

(4) any otherwise lawful observation with a camera conducted by a law enforcement officer while performing official duties;

(5) filming conducted by a person by or for the print or broadcast media through use of a camera that is not secreted from view;

(6) any part of a private residence used for business purposes, including any part of a private residence used as a family child care home for the care and custody of a child;

(7) filming of a private residence by a person through use of a camera that is not located on the real property where the private residence is located; or

(8) any otherwise lawful observation with a camera of the common area of multiunit family dwellings by a person that holds a license under Title 13 or Title 19 of the Business Occupations and Professions Article, acting within the scope of the person’s occupation.

Prohibited

(c) A person may not place or procure another to place a camera on real property where a private residence is located to conduct deliberate surreptitious observation of an individual inside the private residence.

Penalty

(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.

Prohibited defense

(e) Subject to subsection (b)(1) of this section, it is not a defense to a prosecution under this section that the defendant owns the private residence.

Available defense

(f) A good faith reliance on a court order is a complete defense to a civil or criminal action brought under this section.

Civil action

(g)(1) An individual who was observed through the use of a camera in violation of this section has a civil cause of action against any person who placed or procured another to place the camera on the real property.

(2) In an action under this subsection, the court may award damages and reasonable attorney’s fees.

Other remedies

(h) This section does not affect any legal or equitable right or remedy otherwise provided by law.