Skip to Content

HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 698         FILED ON: 1/14/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1458


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



Jason Lewis


To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act to protect the privacy of 911 callers.






Jason Lewis


Bruce J. Ayers

1st Norfolk

Martha M. Walz

8th Suffolk

Denise Andrews

2nd Franklin

Kay Khan

11th Middlesex

Timothy J. Toomey, Jr.

26th Middlesex

Patricia D. Jehlen

Second Middlesex

HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 698        FILED ON: 1/14/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1458

By Mr. Lewis of Winchester, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 1458) of Jason M. Lewis and others relative to audio recordings and written transcripts of phone calls made to the 911 emergency system.  The Judiciary. 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts


In the Year Two Thousand Thirteen



An Act to protect the privacy of 911 callers.

              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

              SECTION 1. Chapter 6A of the Massachusetts General Laws, as appearing in the 2008 Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following section:-

              Section 18M. The audio recording of a call placed to a 911 system for the purpose of requesting service from a law enforcement, fire, or medical agency is private data on individuals with respect to the individual making the call, except that a written transcript of the audio recording is public. A transcript shall be prepared upon request. The person requesting the transcript shall pay the actual cost of transcribing the call, in addition to any other applicable costs for transcript preparation. The audio recording may be disseminated to law enforcement agencies for investigative purposes. The audio recording may be used for public safety and emergency medical services training purposes.

              The release of the audio recording of a 911 telephone call without the express written consent of the caller or the caller’s legal representative shall be prohibited, except pursuant to a court order finding that the right of the public to the release of the recording outweighs the privacy interests of the individual who made the 911 call or any person involved in the facts or circumstances relating to the 911 call. This section shall not apply to law enforcement personnel conducting an investigation where the 911 telephone call is or may be relevant to the investigation.

The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The General Court provides this information as a public service and while we endeavor to keep the data accurate and current to the best of our ability, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.