Under Tennessee law, a person who is a party to a wire, oral, or electronic communication, or who has obtained the consent of at least one party, can lawfully record a communication and divulge the contents of the recorded conversation unless he has a criminal or tortious purpose. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-601. Violations are punishable as felonies with jail sentences of between two and 12 years and fines not to exceed $5,000. Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 39-13-602, 40-35-111.
Under the statute, consent is not required for the taping of a non-electronic communication uttered by a person who does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in that communication. Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-6-303.
Anyone whose communications have been unlawfully intercepted can file a civil suit to recover the greater of actual damages or liquidated damages of $100 per day of violation or $10,000, whichever is greater. A plaintiff can also claim punitive damages, attorney fees, and litigation costs. The statute of limitations for such a lawsuit is two years. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-603.
Recording or disseminating a communication carried out through a cellular or cordless phone, or disseminating the contents with knowledge of their illegal origin, without the consent of at least one party, can be punished as a felony with a potential prison sentence of between one and six years and a fine not to exceed $3,000. Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 39-13-604, 40-35-111.