A proposed class action lawsuit claims Securus Technologies, Inc. has unlawfully intercepted and recorded calls between Maine jail inmates and their attorneys and, in some cases, shared the contents of the calls with law enforcement.
Filed by three plaintiff attorneys, the lawsuit alleges Securus, which contracts with Maine jails to provide telecommunications services, has failed to screen out calls subject to attorney-client privilege from recorded calls shared with jail administrators “who are often law enforcers.” On several occasions, recordings of calls subject to attorney-client privilege have been shared with district attorneys, the lawsuit claims, noting the interception and recording of confidential communications between attorneys and their clients is illegal under state and federal law.
Since July 2019, Securus, no stranger to class actionlitigation, has allegedly intercepted and recorded over 800 calls between attorneys and inmates at the Androscoggin, Aroostook, Franklin and Somerset county jails, encompassing communications between over 150 inmates and 30 law firms and/or attorneys.
One plaintiff, who is acting as co-counsel for another plaintiff in a case involving an inmate client, says he was contacted in May 2020 by the office of the Maine Attorney General, who said it had received from Securus recordings of hundreds of calls between his client and the two attorneys or someone from his co-counsel’s office.
“The representative from the AG’s office could not confirm how many of the calls were privileged,” the complaint reads. “Instead, they provided [the plaintiffs] with a copy of the recorded calls and asked them to screen out privileged calls.”
The AG’s office elaborated that they determined some of the calls provided to them by Securus were privileged because a detective listened to the recordings and recognized the voice of one of the plaintiffs, the suit says.
According to the case, the attorney and his office have been “diligently reviewing” the recordings and determined that at least several of the calls were protected by attorney-client privilege.
The suit’s third plaintiff says he was contacted in April 2020 by a Maine assistant attorney general who informed him that while reviewing recordings of jail calls provided by Securus, he recognized the plaintiff’s voice on a call with his client, who is currently incarcerated at the Somerset County Jail.
Per the complaint, the plaintiff was provided with a copy of the call but was not informed as to whether other calls with his client were recorded or reviewed.
Alleging violations of both Maine law and the Federal Wiretap Act, the lawsuit looks to represent “[a]ll current and former inmates and attorneys, excluding attorneys for the plaintiff, whose calls were improperly intercepted, recorded, or disclosed.”
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