Find out about dumpster diving and whether or not it is legal.

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Dumpster Diving



Many private investigators and others wonder if dumpster diving is legal. While it may be legal under certain circumstances, it is always wise to check with lawyer in your specific area to find out what the laws are. There are many areas that have laws that specifically prohibit dumpster diving. Sometimes, it may be ok for the police to use dumpster diving. While the California v. Greenwood U.S. Supreme Court case held that there is no common law expectation of privacy for discarded materials, there are specific state and local ordinances in many areas that prohibit dumpster diving. Dumpster Diving in England and Wales may constitute theft under the Theft Act 1968, or as common-law theft in Scotland. Now some private investigators may be wondering whether or not it is ok to retrieve someone's telephone records from a trash can and then sell those records to someone else. It is definitely wise to check with an attorney about this due to civil litigation concerns. Remember, though, even if you win a lawsuit, you still have to pay to defend yourself in court! Also, with identity theft becoming more and more prevalent, it is reasonable to expect that there will soon be more legislation concerning using this practice to obtain peoples' credit card statements and other such financial information.

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