Monday, January 19, 2004

Recording Phone Call Laws By State

* Major update June 24, 2014
* Content & comment updates

* THESE LAWS &THIS FORUM APPLY ONLY TO TELEPHONE & CELLPHONE CALL RECORDING *

* I have deleted a lot of the redundant and "in article answered" questions. PLEASE READ this entire article (and comments) and do not skim. If you still have a question after reading this reference and ALL comments, I would love to answer your question. Please do not ask questions about face to face or video recording - these laws vary greatly across the country; even within a city.

These laws and the following dialogue pertain ONLY to recording telephone & cellphone conversations - NOT face to face conversations or public or office meetings. You are NOT permitted to record ANYONE (video or voice) without their specific confirmation and written release that they know they are being recorded at any time, in ANY place (even inside your residence or your business) - unless it is a telephone/cellphone conversation - THEN you must also follow each state's laws regarding such. Public EVENTS are the ONLY exception to video or voice recording and fall under fair use laws. <--- Fair use/Public nature does not APPLY to phone recording.

* If a judge will not allow your recording in court and you consider it of case winning relevance - request a new judge - possibly even a new venue. You want a judge who is technology savvy presiding over your case when using telephone/cellphone recordings.
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Recording a face to face conversation and trying to combine them with your legal rights to recording telecommunications could result in your case being tossed out on a technicality.

A Reference For Harassing Phone Calls From Debt Collectors


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Some things to ask yourself before action ...

1) Was the cell phone a company issued cellphone?

2) Were you on company time or on company property at the time of the recording?

3) Were you damaged by the recording?

4) Did you specifically ask not to be recorded and the phone call he made to you - was it harassing?

If you file for wrongful termination, harassment, etc etc - you may use this as a pendant charge - meaning it will enhance your case.  Rarely can you make a case just out of recording a call. It's usually considered part of a pattern off harassment.

Usually, the only "entity" that can be sued or "punished" by the law is a creditor that records you without your permission.
___________________________

Remember, there is no such thing as phone call recording PERMISSION or AUTHORIZATION ...


Note that the law is specifically 1 or 2 party NOTIFICATION. No one can deny you the right to record a phone conversation IF you properly notify them and follow the laws within your state.

Recently, I received a phone call from a debt collector. This debt collector refused to listen to me and kept interrupting me ... I started recording the phone call. I asked her "what state she was calling from" ... she refused to tell me (A creditor rules violation) ... I looked on my iPhone - it said Carrolton, Texas. Texas is a one party notification state. Although I did not have to inform her she was being recorded; I did. She stated,
"I do not give you permission to record this conversation."

She could have said, "I don't authorize you to record this conversation." ... and it means the same thing.

My recommendation isn't to argue ... just continue the conversation and continue recording.

Understand a few facts about this conversation and a few very common myths:

1) If you are in a one party state and the other person online is in a one party state - you do not have to inform them they are being recorded. You knowing that you are recording, qualifies as the one party notification. This is not an interpretation of the law. IT IS THE LAW!

2) If you are being recorded, you have the right to record the conversation AS LONG AS you follow the laws of your state.

3) There is no such thing as "permission to record" - continuing a conversation IS a permission granted by the other party. One cannot "authorize" or "de-authorize" you from recording. I feel silly typing that, but if someone who you are in a heated argument with threatens you about permission, it makes it SOUND ominous. Don't let their ignorance of the law intimidate you. If the other party continues the conversation after your notifying them that you are recording - they are granting you the right to record. PERIOD. Again, this is not an interpretation of the law. IT IS THE LAW!

You may have OTHER rights if the other party "claims" you do not have permission to record a phone conversation (Particularly if they are a creditor, law enforcement officer, or attorney*). Many people, especially law enforcement and creditors, PRETEND to know the law regarding recording of phone calls. Often, they THINK phone call recording and face to face recording are the same. It is not. There are specific laws governing each. Phone call recording happens to be very concrete.

Please also know that it is your RIGHT to request (properly & politely) for any recording a company/attorney may have of you and they are required by law to make it available to you. Note that this doesn't mean they are required to make it convenient for you to have the recording. The other party is also not required to give it to you any form that you request. As an example, you cannot request a CD, tape, transcript, or email. It is up to the other party to determine what "form" they will provide the recording. A general rule of thumb is 30 days from a WRITTEN request.

* You may want to request dismissal in court, dismissal of debt collection, and/ or sanctions if a person claims you do not have a right to record. Seek out a good attorney for further instruction.

* If a judge will not allow your recording and you consider it case winning relavance - request a new judge - possibly even a new venue. You want a judge who is technology savvy presiding over your case.

* Feel free to refer anyone to
the reference you are reading for clarification.

* I have worked
very hard to maintain this page and try to respond as promptly as possible to any comment ... please consider clicking on an advertisement to kick a few cents back my way or even better sending me $1 through Paypal - see the right side bar.

* Post your comment or question
AFTER reading all of the comments. I usually will answer your question within a couple hours. I monitor and moderate these comments carefully. I realize it's a lot to read. But if you do, this will answer 99% of all your questions.

* PLEASE understand that this is not a substitute for a good attorney's advice. Many attorneys seem to be using this database on my site. While I spent a long time researching this database, it's well documented and well researched, and I consult with friends and an attorney -
PLEASE KNOW I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY.

If I'm being harassed by phone, I send a letter to the other party* - notifying them by mail that ALL conversations will be recorded.

* Sending certified with signature confirmation is recommended.

EXAMPLE:
Mr. X,

Due to the nature of our communication, please know that I will be recording all calls to phone number (xxx) XXX-XXXX for reference or possible evidence in court proceedings. This applies to
ALL of our telephone conversations. This may be your ONLY notification.

Regards,

Philip Smith
06/24/12
* Obtaining a notary seal on such a letter may also be another good step.

I can record ANYTHING I wish - laws may prevent me from using this information, but it is ALWAYS up to a judge to allow ANY evidence as admissible whether obtained illegally or not. That being said ... know that a sneaky attorney could call for a mistrial because you submitted evidence improperly or illegally. Read
ALL of the comments below to see where I have thoroughly discussed this scenario.

To clarify; know that one can record
anything without notification - even in a 2 party state. It is a threat to use or actual use of these recorded conversations to defame, frame, or harass where these laws come in to play.

I make sure I record most of the phone calls I make to verify content here on FixYourThinking ...

I also record most phone calls that relate to my business dealings.

It's very easy for someone to say something and not follow through, or just forget what they said on the phone.

Most newer cell phones can record calls directly into the phone - my Sony Ericssson s710a records it directly as an MP3.

Here are the laws for recording phone calls state by state ... be aware, that most of the time, your phone calls are being recorded - sometimes without your knowledge. Most states are
"one party consent". This means that only one person (even the one who initiates the recording) need know.

One way to avoid these laws entirely is to chat and record through instant message - most IM programs automatically keep a file on your computer. VOIP phone conversations and audio chat ARE NOT governed by these laws! BUT IF YOU HAVE A PHONE NUMBER associated with your VOIP phone (IE A Skype-In/Vonage #) then you must follow the same laws as a normal phone conversation.

Also know that this is a disadvantage of phone call recording websites or "circumvention numbers" - you are ONLY allowed to record calls that you initiate or are a part of or for a number that it has been pre-established that you are being recorded. Just because these "mechanisms for recording" exist doesn't mean they are legal.

A good way to look at this:

• Apple doesn't allow applications in the App Store and AT&T/Verizon/T-Mobile/Sprint do not promote such "circumvention" because it is illegal.

• There ARE applications for the iPhone though if you jailbreak your iPhone.

Synonomous:

• Because you own a gun doesn't mean you can shoot and kill a person.

• You can shoot and kill a person. It is against the law.

• You can shoot and kill a person in self defense.

If you are in a two party notification state and you are TOLD you are being recorded; you have no legal rights if you continue your conversation beyond that point. Arguing with the recording party over
the right to record is consent to record; based on laws governing harassment.

It is best to gain confirmation and identification.

EXAMPLE:

"Roger, why can't you support me as my boss"
OR

"As your secretary, I expect more clarification from you so I can do my job."
Extrapolate and adapt those identifiers for your situation.

Court evidence is much more credible with as much proof as you can obtain (even if there is a known person or an admittance by the recorded party that they are who they are). Plus, you can carry the argument further by saying,
"He knows he's my boss and he's putting me in an awkward position." <--- saying that to a jury puts a lot more weight on the recorded conversation and gives you the rare opportunity to interject an opinion about the Defendant. Concerning police assisting in a phone call recording: as long as the other party KNOWS the police is recording the call they can admit the evidence into court. You can try to claim that you were set up - most jurisdictions don't allow police entrapment. MOST police jurisdictions don't know the laws or proper procedure regarding phone conversation recording. You will want to make sure that the call is played in its entirety in a court room for two reasons. 


1) Context of the statement

2) Confusion of the issue - a lengthy call will be lost in translation with a jury.

You may also want to check into your rights as far as police involvement - believe it or not; an individual has more rights to record a call than the local police officers do. The only way this makes a difference is if the nature of the call was terror related or you made a threat to harm a high ranking government official.

Again, make sure that their recording is within context and object to any interpretation as hearsay.

A phone recording made from a out of state phone line or made to an out of state party, has to have the party informed of the recording and his/her consent or the tone on line, every 15 seconds, or a consent in writing before the recording is started.

Just because you have a spoofed telephone number from a different state does not mean you have the rights of that state's phone number. In other words you must always go by your state's laws, but more importantly, the state lawof the person who's call you are recording.


Scenario from a comment:

What charges would be brought up against someone that recorded me? How would I use my right to my privacy in court?

It's what is called a pendant charge.
You must have action or cause to "use" the law. One can't really prosecute solely on the basis of someone recording you - even though it's breaking the law. It can be done but the cost of an attorney or the frustration of representing yourself in a complex law that even most judges don't understand - wouldn't really be worth it.
Are you trying to get custody of a child and need to prove the other spouse isn't trustworthy or is oblivious to the law? Good point to bring up to the judge. 
Are you in a battle with a creditor? They must follow the law to a tee to collect. If they record you without telling you OR use your recorded info for ANYTHING other than the stated purpose (which is usually "quality control") ... Then you MAY have rights to cancel that debt. Remember, no matter how much an attorney will argue to the court, "quality control" is NOT an ambiguous term. Calls, simply stated as "quality control recorded", unless stated that the information may be collected and used against you, is NOT legal to be used against you in court.
Here are the laws state by state:

States Requiring One Party Notification

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
Colorado
District Of Columbia
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Nebraska
Nevada
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Oklahoma
Oregon
Ohio
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

States Requiring Two Party Notification

California
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Massachusetts
Maryland
Michigan
Montana
New Hampshire
Pennsylvania
Washington

The
ONLY times you relinquish consent in a two party state is when:

1) You are a government official and your conversation isn't 100% COMPLETELY government business related.

2) You are using a corporate issued cellphone and it is contractually stated that the calls may be intercepted AND the issuer of the cellphone has allowed a warranted tap

3) You have already agreed to a previous or ongoing tap onto your phone

4) You call a law enforcement officer, judge, or government official

5) You are calling to or being called from an Indian reservation or foreign phone number that does not originate in the USA

The phone call, is in all ways not allowed into evidence, if the
OTHER phone was being tapped and did not include a message that the call was being recorded or if the caller did not say you were being recorded - remember - staying on the phone after someone informs you that you may be recorded IS consent.

Warranted taps ONLY APPLY TO INDIVIDUALS not general phone lines.

The following states have exceptional amounts of case law regarding telecommunications recording - here is a sampling and brief clarification.

A large university library is an excellent resource to research case law - a librarian will be more than happy to help you.

Arizona

Arizona is a "one-party" state, ARS 13-3005.A(1)(2), and also permits a telephone "subscriber" (the person who orders the phone service and whose name is on the bill) to tape (intercept) calls without being a party to the conversation and without requiring any notification to any parties to the call, ARS 13-3012(5)(c).

California

Although California is a two-party state, it is legal to record a conversation if you include a beep on the recorder and for the parties to hear. This information is included with California telephone bills:

California prohibits telephone monitoring or recording, including the use of information obtained through interception unless all parties to the conversation consent (California Penal Code Sections 631 & 632). There is no statutory business telephone exception and the relevant case law all but excludes this possibility. California courts have recognized "implied" consent as being sufficient to satisfy the statute where one party has expressly agreed to the taping and the other continues the conversation after having been informed that the call is being recorded. Violation is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500, imprisonment for not more than one year, or both. A civil plaintiff may recover the greater of $3,000 or three times the amount of any actual damages sustained.

Connecticut

Connecticut is a two-party consent state. The State Police strictly enforce wiretapping laws.

Illinois

Illinois is, by statute, a two-party state. However, case law from both the Illinois Supreme Court and various Illinois appellate courts have declared Illinois a one-party state in the case of private citizens (businesses and individuals -
NOT law enforcement). The consensus is that one-party consensual recording is merely "enhanced note-taking" and since some people have total recall without recording, how can the other party have any expectation of privacy to a conversation held with another person.

Illinois requires prior consent of all participants to monitor or record a phone conversation. Ill. Rev. Stat. Ch. 38, Sec. 14-2. There is no specific business telephone exception, but in general courts have found extension telephones do not constitute eavesdropping devices. Criminal penalties for unlawful eavesdropping include up to three years' imprisonment or $10,000 in fines and the civil remedy provides for recovery of actual and punitive damages.

In Illinois; It is illegal in any way to tap into cordless home phones via a scanner or other device.



2012: There have been recent court rulings in Illinois regarding wire taps and recording of police conversations.

Indiana

In the state of Indiana, it is one party authorization. As far as what is admissible in court it is still being tested per each case individually by the prosecutors office in the county in which the investigation or case was done.

Massachusetts

Massachusetts requires consent of all parties unless another exception applies (Massachusetts Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 272, Sec. 99). Telephone equipment, which is furnished to a phone company subscriber and used in the ordinary course of business, is excluded from the definition of unlawful interception devices (Id. at 99(B)(3)). Office intercommunication systems used in the ordinary course of business are similarly exempt (Id. at 99(D)(1)(b)). The criminal penalty is a fine of up to $10,000, imprisonment for up to five years, or both. In civil litigation, an injured party may recover actual and punitive damages as well as costs and fees. It is a separate violation to divulge or use the information garnered through unlawful interception and an additional penalty of up to two years in prison or $5,000 may be imposed on this count.

New York

New York is a one party state, however some courts will not admit an interview with a witness to an event if they were not informed they were being recorded. Judges may use their discretion on a case by case basis.

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania requires the consent of all parties. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. Sec. 5704(4) with the following exception: any individual may record a phone conversation without the other party's consent if:

The non-consenting party threatens the life or physical well being of the consenting party, or any member of his/her family.
The non-consenting party commits any criminal action (the statute specifically uses the example of telling the consenting party that they have marijuana they want the consenter to buy, but does state ANY criminal act).

Felony penalties may be imposed for violation of the Pennsylvania statute.

Washington

Washington requires the consent of all parties. Some companies manage to work around that by going to the Indian reservations or any federally owned property to make the call - Federal law is a one party consent.

Wisconsin

Wisconsin is a 1 party state, but legislators are constantly trying to introduce laws to change it to two-party state. Any evidence gathered by a one-party consensual recording is inadmissible except in murder or drug related cases.

The Wisconsin Statute 885.365 for recorded telephone conversation (1) states "Evidence obtained as the result of the use of voice recording equipment for recording of telephone conversations, by way of interception of a communication or in any other number, shall be totally inadmissible in the court of this state in civil actions, except as provided by 968.28 to 968.37." Exceptions are it the party is informed before the recording is informed at the time that the conversation is being recorded and that any evidence thereby obtained may be used in a court of law or such recording is made through a recorder connector proved by the telecommunications utility as defined in WI Stats 968.28 - 968.37 (which is the stat for court ordered wiretaps) which automatically produces a distinctive recorder tone that is repeated at intervals of approximately 15 seconds. Fire department or law enforcement agencies are exempt as are court ordered wire taps.

This does not allow a person that's not a part of the conversation to record any part of the conversation without the parties to the conversation being informed the 3rd party is recording the conversation.

References:

Electronic Communications Privacy Act. United States Code. Title 18. Crimes & Criminal Procedure. Part I – Crimes. Chapter 119 – Wire & Electronic Communications Interception & Interception Of Oral Communications.

http://floridalawfirm.com/privacy.html

Reporters Committee For Freedom Of The Press: A Practical Guide To Taping Phone Calls & In-Person Conversations in the 50 States & District Of Columbia

http://www.rcfp.org/taping

Broadcast of Telephone Conversations, 47 C.F.R. §73.1206 (1989)

P.L. 99-508 ("The Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986"), amending 18 U.S.C. § 2510

18 U.S.C. § 2510 - (1999) (Wire & Electronic Communications Interception & Interception of Oral Communications)

FCC Consumer Information Bureau: http://www.fcc.gov/cib

“Recording Telephone Conversations”

http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Common_Carrier/Factsheets/record.html

“Interception & Divulgence Of Radio Communications”

http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Common_Carrier/Factsheets/investigation.html

U.S. Department of Justice: http://www.usdoj.gov/

USA Bulletin, September 1997 Vol. 45, No. 5, 6. Electronic Investigative Techniques I, II:

1) http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/eousa/foia_reading_room/usab4505.pdf

2) http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/eousa/foia_reading_room/usab4506.pdf

Telephone Tape Recording Law. Ralph Thomas. National Association Of Investigative Specialists.


http://www.pimall.com/nais/n.tel.tape.law.html

Dealing with Phone Calls from Debt Creditors Looking for Your Payment

http://mobile.associatedcontent.com/article/37390/dealing_with_phone_calls_from_debt.html



* Even though I've tried to contain the comments to one page and eliminate redundancy - comments have now spilled onto a 2nd, 3rd, and 4th page. Please remember that your question may be answered on another page of comments. (You may have to click on "newer comments" to see them)

Refer to these related Fix Your Thinking articles:

Unmask Anonymous or blocked caller IDs

How Can I Place A Call Anonymously


Also see this wikipedia article:


http://www.wikihow.com/Trace-Cell-Phone-Numbers

427 comments:

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fixyourthinking said...

Interesting ...

When you are taken to trial ... At trial you wave your rights and are tried on the facts. Not all cases are tried fairly, but this is the way it works.

The imprisoned's attorney would have told him that he was waving ALL his rights once imprisoned. At that point you only have prisoner rights and constitutional rights - not statutory or citizen rights.

Anonymous said...

I live in Florida - a two party disclosure state. I'm confused by the following quote from your website:

"To clarify; know that one can record anything without notification - even in a 2 party state. It is a threat to use or actual use of these recorded conversations to defame, frame, or harass where these laws come in to play."

Are you saying that it is not illegal to record conversations without disclosure and that the only ramification for doing so is that it would not be admissible in a court of law? That must not be what you mean to communicate because then it wouldn't be necessary to disclose that you were using the recordings for "quality purposes" if indeed that was your only intent.

The following quote from the Digital Media Law Project seems to indicate the threat of criminal prosecution for recording without disclosure:

"Florida's wiretapping law is a "two-party consent" law. Florida makes it a crime to intercept or record a "wire, oral, or electronic communication" in Florida, unless all parties to the communication consent. See Fla. Stat. ch. 934.03. . . . you should always get the consent of all parties before recording any telephone conversation and any in-person that common sense tells you is private.

In addition to subjecting you to criminal prosecution, violating the Florida wiretapping law can expose you to a civil lawsuit for damages by an injured party."

Any clarification that you can provide would be greatly appreciated since I operate a business and need clear understanding on this issue.

Thanks for this great resource. I have contributed financially to the cause via Paypal.

Anonymous said...

I have a question regarding face-to-face contact between a citizen that is filing a complaint to a detective (both parties are meeting in person).

Can law enforcement in AZ (a 1 party consent state), record the person making the complaint without informing the complainant that they are being recorded?

Thank you.

fixyourthinking said...

Please read the disclaimer.

This forum is only about telephone communication.

Video recording varies by municipality, County, and State at all levels.

Anonymous said...

If I'm in a 1 party state wisconsin and my baby's mother is in a 2 party state Florida can she record me without my permission and use it 8 wisconsin court? And if I recorded her can I use it or does the two party State make 8th so no matter who calls who they must b informed of the recording? Please let me know ASAP I'm going through a custody case

fixyourthinking said...

You have two issues ...

1) Going by the rules of the state you are calling to ...

2) going by the rules of the recording laws in which your case will be heard

You must follow both.

You must have a device (cell phone may or may not be enough) that time stamps the conversation.

In court, you'd have to prove A) you called them or they called you B) you'd have to link that specific call to your specific information you covered on the specific day you LEGALLY recorded the call.

Anonymous said...

I have been going through a very long divorce (since 2009). My soon to be ex wife (hopefully ) has done a host of things to keep me from my 2 sons. She was successful in getting only a temporary restraining order but has since been lifted 2 years ago. This was for harassing her via phone. I admitted wrong doing and attended classes and had my stint with supervised visitation. I hadn't talked to my son's in 2.5 months and was desperate to talk to them. I am in the military and she moved 9 hours away and this was my only way to have contact. That being said, I have followed each order to a T. She however often does not answer my weekly calls to our sons and if she does I can hear her whisper to them what and what not to say. Each phone call has gotten progressively shorter and they hang up if I ask for a video skype. I am preparing to go to court to modify child custody orders. Right now I have 50/50 joint legal custody but am only allowed 1 weekend a month visitations not to mention I have been out of country for over a year. I would like to record the conversations which clearly show she is not facilitating a relationship with me. I'm suffering through a terrible case of parente alienation. She has drug her feet on court ordered therapy to address the boys "anxiety" and now is controlling our phone conversations. I'm at a loss to prove it. So... my question is this...Our sons live in California, I'm currently stationed in Florida can I , with joint legal custody, record the conversations with our sons, without asking permission. The divorce is not final either.

fixyourthinking said...

No, sorry. California is a strict two party state. The California resident MUST answer to the question (or similar) "Yes, I'm aware that I'm being recorded." Then you must also have auditory beeps to remind them. Recording a conversation for a California resident may require you to have a specific telephone conversation recording device or online service.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
First of all thank you for such detailed and informative compilation. My question is this. My brother is involved as a pro se litigant against a corporation. Both are in Florida. The parties had a hearing that was done over the phone. The defendants' lawyers were in their offices and my brother was a at home. My brother recorded the phone hearing but did not announce that he would record it. Can he legally quote and/or disclose that he recorded it to use it as a transcript in documents filed with the Court? My question comes from the fact that during a second phone hearing, the defendants actually had an undisclosed court reporter, and my brother only knew the hearing had been recorded by the court reporter (who was hired by defendants) when the defendants attached a copy of the transcript in a document they filed with the court.
Would the unannounced recording be the same as the unannounced court reporter? Could he cite the recording as one would cite a court reporter's transcript? I know Florida is a 2-person, I also know court hearings are public, and in Florida they are generally allowed to be recorded, and per your forum, I gather that when you call a judge, it is okay to record without the other party's consent, yet in a case like this one, where he would have to cite as if it were a transcript, I'm not so sure.
Thank you so very much!

Fixyourthinking said...

Give me 24 hours to digest Florida Pro Se question. Thanks

fixyourthinking said...

As a pro se litigant ...

File a subpoena for the transcript of the phone call. You CAN compare it to what was actually said if it differs dramatically.

If I'm getting you straight, you are trying to catch them on a technicality to help your case.

There's not a lot of case law regarding enforcement of the two party statute in Florida.

Being Pro Se allows you quite a bit of leeway for ignorance though and not much if they have big time legal assistance.

Admit it into evidence that you were recorded without prior knowledge but recorded for your own purposes. State to the court that their use of the transcript is NOT permissible but yours is since you are only referring to it AND you discovered the two party rule after the fact. State that THEIR legal defense is NOT entitled to the same leeway because they should know the law.

Anonymous said...

Well, there is no actual transcript that we know of (meaning, done by a court reporter), except for my brother's own recording. I don't know if the Court or the Judge would record his phone hearings from his chambers…that would be the only other possibility.

My brother doesn't really mind that they had a court reporter that no one knew about record the second phone hearing. It is the first one with which he is concerned, since that is the one he recorded without them knowing, and for which there was no court reporter or transcript.

I like the idea of saying that it was for his own use, but now that he needs to cite it, should he then transcribe the transcript and file it with the court?

Sorry for if this is too much! Thank you!

fixyourthinking said...

Yes, again ...

I think you can claim two things ...

1) ignorance as a pro se

2) importance as a pro se

An attorney couldn't claim either privilege

Anonymous said...

Thank you so very much! I really appreciate your taking the time to answer. I will tell my brother to transcribe the recording and file it with a Notice explaining the reasons you gave me. Very grateful for your help! :)

Little Sister said...

I have read your entire article. I have a unique situation and I don't think it will end up in a courtroom but you never know. In a nut shell, truly, this is the situation. I am care taking my 90 year old mother who has Dementia/Alzheimer's since September of 2014. I have been involved with her care since 2011 and with my step-father who passed away in 2014. In my folks legal documents designating a Trustee and POA for financial and health, I was number one. My step-brother was number two and my brother number three. That last brother, has resented his place in the line up since I started to intervene. I overheard him complain to my mother that he can't stand the fact that I was chosen over him. There are reasonable explanations for that and his placement was appropriate. About 3 months ago he had some financial difficulties and as a result started calling mom often. By often I mean every other day. She became nervous and agitated. We put her on Xanax because we had not caught on to brother's deeds, that didn't work out and we took her off. Needless to say, it has been going on for months and he has been feeding her a lot of misinformation that directly causing concern with her care team. I listened in on a few conversations and he was telling mom how I was stealing money and her grand daughter was riding on her coat tails. My 32 year old daughter has been her over night care since Sept. I am now recording his conversations. As Trustee, my job is to protect my mother and her interests. He is trying to destroy the in-home care which has been working beautifully for mom financially. My brother has caused her to lose her appetite she weights 105 but that hasn't stopped him. It has caused other health related concerns and that hasn't stopped him. He plans to take mom to the bank so he can obtain bank statements he is not entitled to view. He can't anyway as it is a Family Trust account to which I am the only signer. Now, since I don't intend to use the recordings in a court situation but simply to know what he's up to and maybe eventually block his numbers, do I even need to inform him I am recording. I don't have a problem with consent. I would tell him and mom that their conversations were being recorded, if need be. Perhaps that would curb the assault on mom's health. But do I need to or just never let them know and use the info to protect my mom from her devious son?

fixyourthinking said...

You would never be able to use the recordings legally if you don't tell them but I would tell everyone involved you are recording them. That way, you may instill a little bit of trepidation.

Just remember, if you do not follow the laws, you cannot use the recordings or even reference them UNLESS the defendant references them.

Anonymous said...

I am wondering if you have knowledge about recording a my niece who is 6 without her mother (my sister) knowing. I have had a feeling for a long time that my sister is mentally and slightly physically abusive. My niece means the world to me so I asked her to be honest and started a voice recording. For an hour she gave me all sorts of horrible details. I would like to use this recording to obtain custody of her but I'm afraid it's not legal and I will just make it worse for her. I live in Texas if this makes a difference

fixyourthinking said...

You may only do so IF you are the legal guardian or you obtain permission Social services.

Anonymous said...

Valuable information on your blog and thank you for the excellent content. My uncle lives in Florida, a two-party state. I live in New York, a one-party state. If he calls me and records the call, I now understand that he must let me know he's recording in order for the call to be legally admissible in a court of law. What I'm confused about with regards to this same phone call, would I need to inform him that I’m recording for it to be permItted in a court proceeding? Is it relevant who initiates the call, or is the fact that I live in a one-party state and was the recipient of the call, permit me to record him without violating the Florida statue?

fixyourthinking said...

Whoever initiates the call must go by the statutes of the state they call to.
You would not have to inform him either way.

Anonymous said...

I live in a one party state I hade a message stuck in my door when I got home from church to contact a officer so I did quickly he asked me about I bike that I had pawned 9 months ago I verified that yes it was involved in a trade with money and a trailer for a truck before I made the transaction I verified that the trailer and bike was not stolen the officer then told me the bike was reported stolen a year ago and found it in the pawn shop I had sold it to I do have a bill of sale that proves that I the bike before he says it was stolen then the officer stated he was going to charge me and send me back to prison I did tell him all the information I had and that he could not charge me I did go to the police department filed a request of grammar to get the police report verifying the clam the bike that sat in the pawn shop was in deed stolen they did refuse but by law the police chief can release that to me in some cases that would never happen such as murder investagations so I demaded that they file charges or drop the case they filled the charges at that time I learned that I was recorded over the phone by the devices they wear when I went to get my motion of discovery I also learned that the bike was reported 10 months after I owend it and sold it in my discovery they did not include the redcords they made of me by ther audio and video devices I now have requsted those recordins but in my discovery the officer clames I threntend him that never took place what is the law of using those devices for phone call recording

fixyourthinking said...

This seems to be a face to face recording and law enforcement can record you at any time if doing an investigation.

You can ask the evidence be suppressed based on the law, but I'm not sure it applies.

MediaGal said...

Enjoyed reading this long post as well as seeing that you answer almost all the comments. That said, as a journalist in Florida, I have an audio recorder attached to my phone and use it in interviews – after getting the proper permission, of course. About once a week I get a call from a scammer or other unsavory person and I turn on my recorder right away. As soon as they take a breath, I say, “You don’t mind if I tape this do you?” I always want to make sure my request is at the beginning of the recording – ideally as soon as possible. Most of these types of callers hang up immediately but for those scammers who keep talking – well, it’s too bad for them, mainly because I don’t give them a chance to continue their spiel. I begin an online investigation of the company they say they work for. Most times when I check them out on a state agency website, I see that they are not a valid company operating in my state. They then give me another name which I look up, but I always ask, “Is that the name on your paycheck?” In any case I don’t make it easy on them. I usually turn the recorder off when a scammer says they don’t want to be recorded, but I believe you are right -- as long as you notify them, when they continue talking, it is considered consent. I’m heading to a journalism conference in a few days and will check that out further. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

I live in Michigan and I understand that I need permission to record but what if I'm being threatened by the other party? What if the life of my child is being threatened? What if I'm being told he will kill me? If I tell him I'm recording he won't say anything to get himself in trouble. I don't know what to do but I'm scared for my life.

Fixyourthinking said...

When, and only when, your life is on the line, I believe judges and juries are sympathetic to your reasonable understanding of the law and your peace.

Above all else, the constitution grants you life Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Anonymous said...

We live in Kentucky. My husband's ex-wife lives in Kentucky. Due to threats of court and other unwelcomed harassment and threats of court action involving their jointly shared children, my husband politely advised her last weekend that he would be recording their telephone conversations henceforth. She advised him to "go ahead, I have nothing to hide". The conversation, as usual, ended with her yelling, incessant rambling and talking over him. There was no value in their communication. This week, she advised him at the beginning of their phone call that she "wanted to make it clear, she did not want her phone conversation recorded". We wanted to continue recording and did, but said nothing because we weren't sure if we had to say anything or what was best to say. What would you recommend we say to her if she requests we don't record her. She will continually press until she gets the confirmation that we agree not to record her or acknowledge her request positively.

fixyourthinking said...

Since one does not grant permission, proceed with the call, say nothing. If she insists, just let her argue, don't antagonize her, don't tell her you're allowed to record. Just do. If she doesn't want to be recorded, she will hang up.

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