Court Says It's Okay To Secretly Record Conversation If Done For Legitimate Reasons

from the i-may-or-may-not-be-recording-this dept

While there have been a lot of concerns lately about efforts to misuse "wiretapping" laws that forbid any recordings of people without their knowledge, it appears at least a few courts are recognizing how silly that is. Yet another court has now said that secretly recording a conversation -- in this case with an iPhone -- is okay, assuming there was no crime committed with the recording, and the recording was for a legitimate purpose. As the court noted:
"The defendant must have the intent to use the illicit recording to commit a tort of crime beyond the act of recording itself."
That makes sense. The act of recording alone, shouldn't be a criminal act, as it really depends on what is being done with the recording. And, in an age where not only is recording everything easier, but for some becoming standard, requiring permission to record all audio seems like an outdated concept.


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    Pixelation, Aug 19th, 2010 @ 6:12pm

    Careful what you say.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2010 @ 6:14pm

      Re:

      Well, if it gets thrown out in court, worst case scenario you can always distribute it over the Internet like with the whole verizoncantcount fiasco. The court of public opinion can then weigh in on the conversation.

       

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      Mean mug, Feb 1st, 2014 @ 1:00pm

      Response to: Pixelation on Aug 19th, 2010 @ 6:12pm

      What if your rights are being violated and you have proof, but all you have to prove it is recordings?

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2010 @ 6:12pm

    I think it's always "OK" to record conversations without permission or delivering prior knowledge but the anti - recording laws are meant so that it can't be used in court if it's done "illegally" without permission or delivering prior knowledge, not that they can separately punish you for doing so. Just that, as evidence it will get thrown out, kinda like conducting an unwarranted search or seizure (though perhaps in that case one might be able to sue the cops for damages? Or is that a criminal case where the feds must prosecute?), it can't be used against you in court.

     

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      DubhBairn, Feb 11th, 2014 @ 11:43am

      Re: What about home security???

      I am setting up security cameras around my property because of bad behavior of a neighbor.. I am also wanting to install a camera with audio capabilities because some of the stuff that comes out of this person's mouth should have gotten them arrested.. I just want to justify if something happens again.. and to protect my home from theft.
      Can I do this under TEXAS law?? Or do I need to put up a sign/sticker stating that audio / video recording is protecting my home??? would this fit under the TX consent law? and be used against someone should they try to do harm on our property??

       

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      Russgus, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 8:32pm

      Re: Divulging information.

      The necessity of a warrant or of providing private knowledge only applies to the government and law enforcement agencies. If you and I are having a conversation and I'm recording it just to record it and you state that you're going to kill someone, I can submit that as evidence in court and it WILL be allowed.
      Why? I'm not the government. I'm just some guy you were talking to who happened to like to record his conversations just for the helluvit. :)

       

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    Small Child, Aug 19th, 2010 @ 6:12pm

    extort the boss?

    so essentially I can pull out my phone and record the owner of a particular company spewing on about how he just pays cash to whoever works more than 40 hours so he doesn't have to pay extra taxes or workers comp OR time and a half? as long as I turn it in, right?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2010 @ 6:19pm

      Re: extort the boss?

      You know, if the feds were really serious about going after people who break the law they would do more to catch employers that try to get away with paying overtime by either fudging with their employees hours (ie: moving the hours around such as moving them over to the next week and distributing them so that no overtime is payed) or by having their employees work and either paying them under the table or not paying them overtime at all. Many employers do this and yet they never seem to get caught. Part of the problem is that employees never report it but everyone knows that's generally not a good long term solution if you want to keep your job and not have your job made miserable.

       

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      Russgus, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 8:35pm

      Re: extort the boss?

      If you record it and submit it to the proper authorities, then you shouldn't have a problem. If you try and blackmail him with it, that's illegal and not only will it get the recording thrown out of court, it'll give him proof to have YOU charged.

       

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    mr. sim (profile), Aug 19th, 2010 @ 6:27pm

    does this mean that we can tape corrupt cops again?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2010 @ 6:30pm

      Re:

      Yes. However, don't expect it to hold up in courts. Just like police evidence, if it's not done through proper procedure, the evidence can be thrown out.

      Granted, corrupt cops are more often dealt with through public scrutiny than the legal system.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2010 @ 6:36pm

        Re: Re:

        "Granted, corrupt cops are more often dealt with through public scrutiny than the legal system."

        That just shows how broken our legal system is, but I think that's what you were implying.

         

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      Hephaestus (profile), Aug 19th, 2010 @ 8:37pm

      Re:

      My question is what do I do with all the tapes I have of corrupt cops and politicians from before this ruling.

      This case also brings to mind the school admins that taped via lost laptops. Is that now legal?

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2010 @ 6:34pm

    Just for inquiry purposes

    What if it's a patient talking to a doctor about personal patient - doctor issues, especially a psychologist (and the patient doesn't want the conversation to be recorded). Sure the doctor may record the conversation and not intend to spread it on the Internet or give it to anyone or use it for nefarious or malicious purposes, but what if those recordings accidentally got into the wrong hands. Or what if someone was telling someone else something personal, like social security number or CC number or whatever, for a business transaction with a corporation, and the corporation recording the information keeps it in a database. Now what if some nefarious or malicious employee got a hold of that info.

    There is always the possibility of recording something personal (though not illegal) and having that information accidentally get into the wrong hands. Not that I disagree with MM, but I think these are some things to think about.

    Now, granted, if I'm calling a corporation and they're explaining a contract or agreement to me or something of that nature, I should be able to record them and present it to a judge later on and it should be counted as evidence. Things that are business related generally should be recordable, but there can be a blurry line between business and personal info (ie: SS number, CC numbers, etc... are personal yet can be involved in business transactions. Psychologists and doctors are professionals yet they deal with personal issues). To what extent does a business have a duty to protect personal info if they record it? Can they be trusted to properly protect it? Should they be liable if it leaks on the net or gets misused by some disgruntled employee for nefarious purposes?

    See, if I'm talking to a corporation I'm most likely the one giving away personal information, not the corporation or the corporate representative. So if I record the conversation it is my duty to protect my own private information if it gets on the recording and I have an interest in protecting it. But what about the corporation? Can I trust them to protect my information as much as I can trust myself?

    Then again, these days, many corporate employees have access to all sorts of private customer information (ie: CC and SS numbers). It's something we practically take for granted.

     

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      TtfnJohn (profile), Aug 19th, 2010 @ 6:49pm

      Re:

      There are ethical reasons why a doctor or psychologist would not record and store an interview with a patient just to reveal it later. Among them having had doctor/patient confidentiality, which we all take for granted, blown out of the water.

      Then I wouldn't tell my shrink any more about my kinky sexual fantasies about a teddy bear, dawn detergent and....

       

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        andre, Oct 15th, 2013 @ 2:34am

        Re: Re:

        HIPAA it is illegal for a patient to tape record without prior consent if the entity is bonded by this federal privacy rule..

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2010 @ 10:38pm

      Re:

      I think those issues can be dealt by the people without the need of government intervention.

      What services those corporations do for the people?
      Can people create a corporation(LLC) and do transactions through those entities?

      ps: LLC's exist for exactly this purpose to serve as a proxy, to and individual it may be expensive but to a neighborhood that cost falls dramatically.

      In case of health care people could finance their own hospitals that would answer directly to the community and have strong incentives to not compromise the information of their patients.

      in the case of schools people could just stop sending their children to that school and either home school them or finance a new one where they can have more control over what is done in the school or another solution.

      People can do better, I think people forgot what they can do and need to be reminded that they can affect change if they do wish to do so, they are just not trying hard enough to find solutions. The government is getting bigger and it seems incapable of dealing with the needs of the people, they should not be involved in little things but on some key parts like guaranteeing physical security and a judicial system that is the last resort for problem solving.

       

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      Russgus, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 8:39pm

      Re: Just for inquiry purposes.

      You can legally record any conversation you have with a company. Problem is that if you tell them you're doing it, they'll hang up on you and communicate though mail only.
      Yes, I've been through it before. Sux.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2010 @ 6:41pm

    Recording and distributing

    I'd agree the action of recording should not need permission. But for distributing the recording to the others, I think both parties should agree first.

     

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    abc gum, Aug 19th, 2010 @ 7:41pm

    So, I can wear a helmet cam and post the results on youtube then.
    Sweet.

     

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    Hippy Hop, Aug 19th, 2010 @ 7:44pm

    It is not ok to record conversations without the permission of the other party whether it is for legitimate reason or not. If it is for legitimate reason, why would you record it without permission? The fact that you did not inform the other person of your recording, there is an intension of a crime and committed a violation of the right of the other person to be informed.

     

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      abc gum, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 4:49am

      Re:

      "It is not ok to record conversations without the permission of the other party "

      In the us, it depends upon which state you call from.
      ref: one or two party notification.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 1:59pm

        Re: Re:

        In the us, it depends upon which state you call from.
        ref: one or two party notification.


        No, it depends on which state the recording is done in.

         

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      Rekrul, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 11:04am

      Re:

      It is not ok to record conversations without the permission of the other party whether it is for legitimate reason or not. If it is for legitimate reason, why would you record it without permission?

      Consider this; You wake up one morning to find that someone has slashed your tires and basically trashed your car. You know exactly who it was because you've been having problems with them for some time. However there is no proof they did it, and their buddies (who were probably in on it) give them an alibi. The police tell you that there's nothing they can do without some kind of evidence.

      You confront the guy alone and he admits doing it right to your face, telling you that he's going to keep on tormenting you and there's not a thing you can do about it because you have no proof and his buddies will always lie for him.

      How exactly would you convince him to allow you to record his confession?

       

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        Hugh Mann (profile), Aug 20th, 2010 @ 11:36am

        Re: Re:

        So, it should be OK to record anybody you want, and we should all have to be willing to live with it, because of this very hypothetical situation?

        Because you may be the victim of a neighborhood bully, I'm supposed to entirely give up my privacy?

        HM

         

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          nasch (profile), Aug 20th, 2010 @ 2:04pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          No, just don't reveal anything you want to keep private to anyone you don't trust. Which has always been the best rule to go by anyway.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 2:17pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            No, just don't reveal anything you want to keep private to anyone you don't trust. Which has always been the best rule to go by anyway.

            That's not going to help you much with a hidden recorder in the room that neither one of you knows about.

             

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              nasch (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 4:33pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Looks like this case is not about third party recording, so that's irrelevant. But of course nobody should be allowed to record a conversation they're not a part of without either consent or a court order. I hope that isn't controversial.

               

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          Rekrul, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 6:43am

          Re: Re: Re:

          So, it should be OK to record anybody you want, and we should all have to be willing to live with it, because of this very hypothetical situation?

          Because you may be the victim of a neighborhood bully, I'm supposed to entirely give up my privacy?


          No, recording someone for nefarious purposes, like blackmailing them, or publicly embarrassing them should be illegal, but recording someone for the purpose of exposing a crime or defending yourself against untrue allegations should be allowed.

          The fact is that in today's world, there's absolutely no way to prevent someone from recording your conversation without your knowledge. Unless you search everyone you talk to, you can't be sure that they aren't using their phone or some other recording device to record every word you say. You only find out that this has happened when they use the recording for something. At THAT point, their actions should be legally judged based on their reasons for making the recording, the setting it was made in (two people in a room have more expectation of privacy than someone at a public meeting) and the contents of the recording.

          In my case, in a complicated situation, my mother had a friend hang onto some money and jewelry for her. After my mother died, I found out that the "friend" had used the money for herself, for "an emergency". Nothing was written down, so I have no proof. When I can actually get in touch with her, she freely admits that she owes me money, but since my state requires two-party consent, I'd be breaking the law to record her making this admission. There's no way she'd ever sign anything or admit it in front of witnesses, because she has no intention of ever paying me or returning the jewelry. So she gets away with stealing what should rightfully be my mine because I can't record her confession unless she consents.

          Yeah, that's fair...

           

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            nasch (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 4:34pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Can you go to a state with single party consent and call her from there? Probably want to consult a lawyer before trying something like that.

             

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              Amicus Curia, Sep 28th, 2013 @ 9:35pm

              out of state

              The rule, in law, is that the laws of the state at either end of the phone connection can be enforced. Thus, if it's a crime to record the phone conversation in Washington, but not in New York, the perpetrator can be prosecuted in Washington under its laws, even though he/she never left the State of New York except by phone.
              -amicuscuria.com/wordpress-

               

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              Amicus Curia, Sep 28th, 2013 @ 10:15pm

              out of state

              The rule, in law, is that the laws of the state at either end of the phone connection can be enforced. Thus, if it's a crime to record the phone conversation in Washington, but not in New York, the perpetrator can be prosecuted in Washington under its laws, even though he/she never left the State of New York except by phone.
              -amicuscuria.com/wordpress-

               

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      Whatever, Nov 9th, 2012 @ 12:21pm

      Response to: Hippy Hop on Aug 19th, 2010 @ 7:44pm

      I wouldn't want to tell a liar I'm recording... Because I know he will lie about it... Or did u not think of that?

       

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      SkillFlo Baggins, Jan 6th, 2013 @ 11:51pm

      Response to: Hippy Hop on Aug 19th, 2010 @ 7:44pm

      Man. You are naive. Your comment almost doesn't deserve a response. What if you knew someone murdered your sister? Do you think you're gonna fucking ask for their permission to record the phone call when trying to get a confession? Grow some brain cells dude.

       

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      kewlcory7, Apr 9th, 2013 @ 9:40am

      Response to: Hippy Hop on Aug 19th, 2010 @ 7:44pm

      I'm trying to understand this issue as it applies to conversations involving the person who is recording the call. if I live in a state where 2 party consent is not mandatory, then I am free to record any of my calls without the other party's consent, right?

       

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        Amicus Curia, Sep 28th, 2013 @ 9:39pm

        Re: Response to: Hippy Hop on Aug 19th, 2010 @ 7:44pm

        No, not right. See my earlier response to this question above. The laws of the State at either end of the call can be enforced with respect to both parties.
        -amicuscuria.com/wordpress-

         

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        Amicus Curia, Sep 28th, 2013 @ 10:15pm

        Re: Response to: Hippy Hop on Aug 19th, 2010 @ 7:44pm

        No, not right. See my earlier response to this question above. The laws of the State at either end of the call can be enforced with respect to both parties.
        -amicuscuria.com/wordpress-

         

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      Amicus Curia, Sep 28th, 2013 @ 8:32pm

      Re: audio recording liars

      Because, simply put, corruption exists not only in government officials, but in the public. People are entirely too fond of lying, bearing false witness, and dissembling. This has the all too real potential to seriously harm an innocent party. Audio recording provides a measure of safety/prevention of personal injury or worse. If I can see, hear, smell, taste, or feel it (especially in a public venue), I can document it. Video, photos, and audio recordings are simply a means of documenting an occurrence.
      -amicuscuria.com/wordpress-

       

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      kadee, Apr 9th, 2014 @ 10:27pm

      Re: recording

      actually in 38 states you have the legal right to tape a conversation as long as one person in the party is aware of the recording-and that person can be the one recording. Sp its perfectly legal, Read your state laws

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2010 @ 9:02pm

    It is useful to keep in mind that this action was asserted in Federal District Court and based upon a federal statute. Apparently, the federal law relied upon by the plaintiff (who was representing himself) requires several prima facie elements, and both the district court and the appellate court determined that one or more of the required elements was not present. Hence the dismissal. However, as the appellate court noted, the district court elected not to assert jurisdiction over state claims, the state in this case being Connecticut. Presumably, the plaintiff is free to pursue his state claims in state court.

    The recording of conversations varies from state to state. Most require the consent of only one participant to a conversation, but about 12 or so (including California) requires the consent of all participants (there are some exceptions, of course).

    Is surreptitious recording a good idea? Personally, I do not think it is. This site strongly advocates privacy rights, and I find the view expressed here somewhat inconsistent with such advocacy. Do persons downloading material from the internet truly have a greater privacy interest than persons engaged in a private conversation? Reasonable minds can differ.

     

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      nasch (profile), Aug 20th, 2010 @ 8:41am

      Re:

      Keep in mind we're not (I think) talking about a third party recording a conversation between two other people. So the internet analogy would be if you download something from intercorp.com, and Intercorp keeps a record of what you downloaded and when. Which AFAIK is basically standard practice, and certainly not a violation of your privacy.

       

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    philip wilson, Aug 19th, 2010 @ 9:14pm

    recording

    i recorded an encounter with a school principal who had ordered me to her office, no i'm not a student. she called security and said i was there uninvited. if it had not been for that recording where might i be right now?

     

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    Hugh Mann (profile), Aug 19th, 2010 @ 9:23pm

    I sure don't want to be recorded...

    What legitimate reason is there to just make a practice of recording conversations? I refuse to stay on the line if someone calls me and says, "this call may be recorded for quality control purposes". I'm also annoyed that you have to essentially consent to being recorded to have any chance of talking to your bank or credit card company.

    I don't need a reason to say I don't want to be recorded. Luckily, California (where I live) has a statute that specifically prohibits recording telephone calls unless both parties consent. I don't think a person should have the right to walk up to me and start snapping photos, either. I have the right to privacy, and that includes from people who want to preserve my utterances and image for posterity.

    I might consider it if there were a requirement that a complete copy of any such recording has to be offered and provided to the other person within ten business days.

    I do have less concern, though, about recording public officials acting in their official capacity. If a cop pulls you over, I think you should have the right to record the whole incidient. But you should not be able to record that same cop if you call him at home when he's off-duty.

    HM

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2010 @ 10:04pm

      Re: I sure don't want to be recorded...

      I don't think people will have a choice in the future and that is the whole point, everybody today has a video camera or recording device of some kind.

      The act of recording is ubiquitous today and will be even more in the future, and if you don't want to end up with laws that throws people in jail for filming their sons and daughters birthdays you need to allow it and look at the cases where it makes sense to not allow such things.

      Privacy is good and I'm a strong advocate for it, but I also recognize some realities and one of them is that in public or with others there will not be such privacy no more.

      Besides there are very compelling reasons to allow recording of everything you see and hear, it allows proof for things difficult to prove in the past but it also can embarrass people.

      People need to make a choice right now. Do people want the ability to get proof for corruption, violence and bad behavior and deal with the problem of privacy or give up that ability to protect part of our lifes that don't have real impact on society?

      Yes bad things can happen like the photos taken by school officials, that were not really criminals but control freaks that should be slapped for what they did, but not by the government, if you give that power to the government they will censor everything including videos of police brutality, political corruption that directly affects them.

      So we really need to think hard on this one is not that simple.

       

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        coldbrew, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 7:09am

        Re: Re: I sure don't want to be recorded...

        I would say it is quite simple: don't try to fight technology. Assume everyone has the ability to record the call at the click of a button, as this tech is trivial.

        "If you outlaw phone call recording technology, only outlaws with have phone call recording tech"

         

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        Hugh Mann (profile), Aug 20th, 2010 @ 8:08am

        Re: Re: I sure don't want to be recorded...

        I really don't see how privacy laws could be twisted to prevent videotaping your kid's birthday party.

        And I sure don't see how allowing secret recording of millions of private citizens going about their everyday buseinss is helpful in uncovering some random instnace of "corrupton".

        This is very weird, because the participants in this blog tend to be against traffic light cameras and surveillance cameras in public places. But, when it's using your own iPhone, it should be OK? Because you might just happen someday to catch a public official being corrupt?

        I maintain that secret recording of one private citizen of another private citizen is a breach of privacy, and should not be permitted.

        HM

         

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      nasch (profile), Aug 20th, 2010 @ 8:44am

      Re: I sure don't want to be recorded...

      I don't think a person should have the right to walk up to me and start snapping photos, either. I have the right to privacy, and that includes from people who want to preserve my utterances and image for posterity.

      When you're in a public place? Why do you think so?

       

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        Hugh Mann (profile), Aug 20th, 2010 @ 9:20am

        Re: Re: I sure don't want to be recorded...

        Just to be clear, I see a difference between someone taking pictures that I just happen to be in - because I'm in a public place - and someone intentionally pointing their camera at me for the purpose of taking a picture of ME, rather than the scenery.

        So, obviously, nobody should be prevented from taking pictures of Niagara Falls merely because I am viewing it and don't want to be in the picture (though it is polite to give people a chance to get out of the way, and I would usually take advantage of such an opportunity). However, that's different than someone walking up to me to engage me in direct conversation and videotaping the encounter - even in a public place.

        I understand the law generally does not take such a granular approach. However, I think it should. I think there is a reasonable right to privacy even in a public place. You should have the right to be left alone. And, while certainly anybody who happens to be at Niagara Falls on the day you go there can see you and report to others you were there, that's quite different from having your visit videotaped and potentially broadcast to the world.

        HM

         

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      The Sandman, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:51pm

      Re: I sure don't want to be recorded...

      I'm with you Hugh. How fair is it when one says to the bank or credit card company, "Before we continue, I am recording this conversation for my own quality and assurance of doing good with this account..." - only to have the other person say, "I'm sorry, but I can't stay on the line if you are."

      Whereas, if I deny the recording, they embark on putting it as if I refuse to talk with them and am not willing to work it out.

      I think all persons should have the same right - namely this one. If a "bank" (i.e) is going to use a conversation in court in which I was recorded, or whatever pieces of the conversation they use and take out of context and present, how unfair is it that I cannot have justification of the conversation and refute those unjust arguments that may be put forth, with my own recorded conversation.

      In essence, we Americans are subdued by corporations and their large legal budgets and the BS politicians put in place in order to continue to subdue us.

      It's all gotta change and soon.

      Happy New Year!

       

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      Amicus Curia, Sep 28th, 2013 @ 9:49pm

      Re: I sure don't want to be recorded...

      Yeah, OK. I'd agree if the conversation was behind closed door or over a phone where you have an expectation of privacy. But, there is no expectation of privacy in public venues. You can be photographed, video taped, or audio recorded there. It's common sense that conversations which can be overheard by strangers in a public setting aren't 'private'. That's why we (most of us) don't copulate on the lawn of the nearby public park. Most of us pick our nose in private too. So if you pick your nose in public, or hold a conversation in public, you would have to be pretty dense to have an expectation of privacy.
      -amicuscuria.com/wordpress-

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2010 @ 9:56pm

    One Party

    I was under the impression that Federal law only required one party's consent. According to the article, the person who did the recording was a party to the conservation, so how was there a Federal offense in the first place?

    However, Mike, if you're saying that you think outside parties should be allowed to secretly record other peoples conservations, how about you let me come wire up your house with some listening devices? Even then, at least you'll know they're there.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 12:58am

      Re: One Party

      What I believe he(Mike) meant was that the act of recording anything should be allowed in general and we need to start focusing on instances we as a people find it offensive or inappropriate, do you have a problem with that? why?

      Would you find it wrong to record crooked officials, police and citizens and expose them?

      Would you want non criminals to be thrown in jail because of stupidity like the schools officials?

      Would you like to find yourself in jail for filming something in a park or have crippling financial punishment for that?

      Would you like to have your son or daughter dragged to ta court of law because a stupid youtube video that showed somebody on the background?

      Would you like to be ejected from a restaurant because you are filming your girlfriend or your children?

      Would you not like to film the police abusing your neighbor?


      It is troubling to think those things should not be allowed and could end up like that if people don't start paying attention to it.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 2:08pm

        Re: Re: One Party

        What I believe he(Mike) meant was that the act of recording anything should be allowed in general and we need to start focusing on instances we as a people find it offensive or inappropriate, do you have a problem with that? why?

        The comment was whether "outside parties should be allowed to secretly record other peoples conservations." You don't have a problem with that? How about letting me wire up your house then? Put up or shut up, as they say.

        Would you find it wrong ... blah blah blah...

        Funny how none of those examples involve outside parties secretly recording other peoples conservations.

         

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          anissa, Jul 15th, 2013 @ 2:30pm

          Re: Re: Re: One Party

          I made tape for my case behind the person back he would alwayss help for me at work fusing at the boss for treating me wrong went I sued my job for treating me bad with disability. He was scare to testfiy of losing his job can I used tape in court. Are I can't

           

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    Paul Alan Levy (profile), Aug 20th, 2010 @ 3:44am

    It is the state laws that are more significant here

    Anonymous coward #12 made the point but it is a bit buried -- there are a number of states in which it is not legal to make a recording without the knowledge of both parties -- that is, surreptitious recording by one party to a conversation is forbidden. Some states make that a crime; some states allow a private suit for damages and attorney fees. So those tempted to make surreptitious recordings should be careful.

    I too see both sides of this one. One the one hand, I get the privacy concern. But from my days as a rank-and-file labor lawyer, the first 20-odd years of my legal career, I recall the general suspicion that when a worker claims the boss said X, many judges are predisposed to believe the boss and not the worker, so surreptitious recordings (in states where they were not forbidden) were a key component of building a case of retaliation.

     

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      Rekrul, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 11:06am

      Re: It is the state laws that are more significant here

      Anonymous coward #12 made the point but it is a bit buried -- there are a number of states in which it is not legal to make a recording without the knowledge of both parties -- that is, surreptitious recording by one party to a conversation is forbidden. Some states make that a crime; some states allow a private suit for damages and attorney fees. So those tempted to make surreptitious recordings should be careful.

      Yes, when trying to get evidence of a crime, always inform the other person that they're about to incriminate themselves on tape before recording their confession...

       

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    Paul Alan Levy (profile), Aug 20th, 2010 @ 3:45am

    Oops, it was #16.

     

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    abc gum, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 5:02am

    ianal

    When calling customer service, one is usually greeted with a recording which states the conversation might be recorded for training purposes. I guess they reside in one party states. If you also reside in a one party state, I think you can record the conversation too.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 6:53am

      Re: ianal

      I think in Cali if the other side can record the conversation then you automatically can. So if they do state that this conversation maybe recorded, then that implies that I can record the conversation as well and use it in court or whatever.

       

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        Hugh Mann (profile), Aug 20th, 2010 @ 8:14am

        Re: Re: ianal

        I'm not sure California law specifically says that, but it is sure a very logical extrapolation. How could the caller argue he didn't consent to being recorded when he told you he was doing it himself?

        HM

         

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      Hugh Mann (profile), Aug 20th, 2010 @ 8:12am

      Re: ianal

      The purpose of the notice is to get your "consent". If you continue to stay on the line after that notice, they will argue that you consented to be recorded.

      HM

       

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      Amicus Curia, Sep 28th, 2013 @ 10:02pm

      Re: ianal

      No, that's not necessary. You can live in a '2'-party state and get away with recording the call if the other party is recording it or KNOWS it's being recorded on their end. Why? Because it's no longer a 'private' conversation! They KNOW they are being recorded/monitored, thus they have no expectation of privacy, in law. Ergo, you don't have to announced you are recording a conversation you're participating in, whether in a single or '2'-party state where the other party/parties have no expectation of privacy. e.g. If you're on speaker phone and the other party can hear a lot of noise/conversations in the background, and realizes their conversation can be heard by a bunch of strangers in the room within earshot of the speaker phone, they have no expectation of privacy anymore than someone conducting a loud conversation in a public park has one. Here, in my State (Western Washington), all our County Transit buses have video AND audio recording on them. They don't alert passengers to this fact, nor to the seek their permission, nor would the driver turn off the recordings (if he could) due to a passenger's objections. There is no law in Washington State (a '2'-party consent state) carving out an exception for public transit buses. There's no law here carving out an exception for police dashboard camera (many of which have audio) either. It's pretty clear we're exposed to video and audio recording without our permission everywhere we go in public, and even 'private' venues such as banks, department stores, parks, court/jail house courtyards, etc. Privacy is dead. Get over it.
      -amicuscuria.com/wordpress-

       

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      Amicus Curia, Sep 28th, 2013 @ 10:15pm

      Re: ianal

      No, that's not necessary. You can live in a '2'-party state and get away with recording the call if the other party is recording it or KNOWS it's being recorded on their end. Why? Because it's no longer a 'private' conversation! They KNOW they are being recorded/monitored, thus they have no expectation of privacy, in law. Ergo, you don't have to announced you are recording a conversation you're participating in, whether in a single or '2'-party state where the other party/parties have no expectation of privacy. e.g. If you're on speaker phone and the other party can hear a lot of noise/conversations in the background, and realizes their conversation can be heard by a bunch of strangers in the room within earshot of the speaker phone, they have no expectation of privacy anymore than someone conducting a loud conversation in a public park has one. Here, in my State (Western Washington), all our County Transit buses have video AND audio recording on them. They don't alert passengers to this fact, nor to the seek their permission, nor would the driver turn off the recordings (if he could) due to a passenger's objections. There is no law in Washington State (a '2'-party consent state) carving out an exception for public transit buses. There's no law here carving out an exception for police dashboard camera (many of which have audio) either. It's pretty clear we're exposed to video and audio recording without our permission everywhere we go in public, and even 'private' venues such as banks, department stores, parks, court/jail house courtyards, etc. Privacy is dead. Get over it.
      -amicuscuria.com/wordpress-

       

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    romeosidvicious (profile), Aug 20th, 2010 @ 9:22am

    While the case mentioned is federal it has also been mentioned that there widely varying laws throughout the states governing recording. For instance in Texas only one party has to know the conversation is being recorded and it can even be recorded by a third party that has been given permission: http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/PE/htm/PE.16.htm Summary of relevant portions of the Penal Code linked above:
    So long as a wire, oral, or electronic communication—including the radio portion of any cordless telephone call—is not recorded for a criminal or tortious purpose, anyone who is a party to the communication, or who has the consent of a party, can lawfully record the communication and disclose its contents. Texas Penal Code § 16.02.
    The other interesting portions of the Texas laws governing this cover non-electronic communication which would cover spoken conversation:
    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. See definition of “oral communication,” Texas Code Crim. Pro. Art. 18.20.
    A great resource for this is: http://www.by rcfp.org/taping/ which covers all states in an easy state by state format. My family had some issues with harassment when I was growing up so I overheard my father talking about the laws governing recording phone calls and for some reason it stuck with me. I never had a tape deck and phone attachment around like we did when I was growing up and those problems were happening but now that I can record calls on my phone with a single press on the screen I have made use it when dealing with the occasional customer service rep that went to far so I could easily file my complaint with evidence.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 9:56am

    One of the great things about this site is that it usually starts a dialogue. However, this post seems more conclusory . You state “The act of recording shouldn’t be a criminal act” but you don’t say why. It seems like an assumption that having everything on record is not a bad thing. There are many studies showing that having everything recorded changes the way people interact, often for the worse. Are these good studies? Who knows. But to assume that the act of recording itself is not a bad thing seems a little lazy.

     

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    Gene Cavanaugh, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 6:23pm

    Wiretapping

    Michael, I agree with you more than I do most people, but you are REALLY right here!
    As a rule, wiretapping, if not done for an illegal purpose, is allowed for impeachment - but that really doesn't go far enough.
    As far as I am concerned, you are saying something that needs to be said, and IMO you are RIGHT!

     

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    Roach, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 10:14pm

    The problem I see most in this ruling is: how do you prove criminal intent?

    "No, your honor, I did not tape that because I wanted to blackmail him. I just wanted something to listen to with my grandcildren in a coupe of years."

     

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    Kris, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 4:18pm

    Tire tapping

    I am a little taken back by you "as a matter of fact" comment concerning ......."wiretapping" laws that forbid any recordings of people without their knowledge, it appears at least a few courts are recognizing how silly that is. It is on face value patently wrong to sneak around recording conversations for whatever reason absent a warrant. This isn't worth the conversation, doesn't even pass the smell taste.

     

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    sonia, Apr 4th, 2012 @ 6:01pm

    recording call

    hello i want to know is it legal that my in laws family record my convection when i am taking with my relatives on phone without my knowledge. can i report my complaint in police?????????

     

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      nasch (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 3:15pm

      Re: recording call

      hello i want to know is it legal that my in laws family record my convection when i am taking with my relatives on phone without my knowledge.

      It depends what state you're in. Some states require consent from both parties and others do not.

       

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    giselle (profile), Apr 29th, 2012 @ 7:26pm

    Is it ok to record a conversation, more specifically abusive verbal and physical, arguments that the abuser always denied? i did it for my own sanity but also as proof that they really did happen. Was it ok that I did it in the state of CT?

     

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    Ashley, Jun 4th, 2012 @ 1:40pm

    What rights does a University have?

    Since I was having issues with one of my professors, I went to my college to talk to someone about it. The man that I spoke with tape recorded our conversation and even worse, played it for my professor just days prior to when grades were given.The most outrageous part was that before I had sat down in his office, I stated that I did not want to mention any names due to the fact that I did not want my professor to find out I had been there to talk about her, especially before grades were given. Therefore, not only did he not receive any consent from me to record our conversation, but also I stated that I wanted this conversation confidential.Then, at my Final Evaluation (where I learn what grade I received), I found that my professor gave me a failing grade while the person I was basically shadowing and with everyday passed me with flying colors.I tried appealing the grade with the University, but I was never given a chance to speak explain my side--the person only spoke with my professor and determined from what she said, that my grade would not be appealed. What do I do?

     

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      nasch (profile), Jun 4th, 2012 @ 2:34pm

      Re: What rights does a University have?

      Therefore, not only did he not receive any consent from me to record our conversation, but also I stated that I wanted this conversation confidential.

      Some states do not require the consent of both parties to record a conversation. That doesn't make what he did ethical, but it may have been legal.

      What do I do?

      This is really not the place to turn for help. Perhaps your university has an ombudsman who can help. Otherwise ask family or a lawyer for advice.

       

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    Ashley, Jun 4th, 2012 @ 1:40pm

    What rights does a University have?

    Since I was having issues with one of my professors, I went to my college to talk to someone about it. The man that I spoke with tape recorded our conversation and even worse, played it for my professor just days prior to when grades were given.The most outrageous part was that before I had sat down in his office, I stated that I did not want to mention any names due to the fact that I did not want my professor to find out I had been there to talk about her, especially before grades were given. Therefore, not only did he not receive any consent from me to record our conversation, but also I stated that I wanted this conversation confidential.Then, at my Final Evaluation (where I learn what grade I received), I found that my professor gave me a failing grade while the person I was basically shadowing and with everyday passed me with flying colors.I tried appealing the grade with the University, but I was never given a chance to speak explain my side--the person only spoke with my professor and determined from what she said, that my grade would not be appealed. What do I do?

     

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    Asirainis (profile), Jun 29th, 2012 @ 10:17am

    What about when a lead supervisor (step under sales manager) ...

    I have a lead supervisor that has said some pretty nasty stuff to me recently. After her first week there, when my hours got cut in my department to slow nights, 6 hours each night for 3 nights, she tried to confront me about not selling as much as I 'could.' She refused to listen to my account of each night. She accused me of trying to sabotage her. Her words, 'Are you trying to sabotage me because I got the position you wanted?' When I told her flat out that I never wanted her position, she seemed to not care. The issue, I thought was dropped. But now, about 2 weeks later, she told me to 'empty my pockets.' Her words. She wanted to see if I had these stupid laminated cards on me that she gave me. But her words never indicated it, she just said, 'empty your pockets.' Working in a sales environment such as walmart, lowes, etc without saying my place of employment, if loss prevention had heard her say that, they would have looked at me like I must have stolen something. What can I do to protect myself because it's a pure she said/she said in my case. The environment is toxic, I've tried to ask for a transfer that my store manager doesn't want to give because I'm a top seller there. Can I use a voice recorder to protect myself even if she doesn't know I have it with me?

     

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    FloridaGentleman, Sep 30th, 2012 @ 9:16am

    Abolish AntiRecording Laws

    State Of Florida
    My wife is very mentally unstable and threatens, intimidates, and otherwise makes my family's life miserable at times. She is very manipulative and very good at it. I have been recording her both audibly and with video for many years. Some incidents of her captured on media are physical violence, but most of it is emotional/mental abuse. She threatens divorce whenever she doesn't get her way and that she'll take half of "our" assets. (I work, she hardly has, and we have some substantial assets my family left). The peace of mind that I have is all of the recordings, because she makes me out to be the bad guy. She is always claiming to be "the victim".

    Anyway, if I did not have these recordings I don't know where I would be psychologically. It is that bad. I have not released any of the recordings to officials yet. I am not sure that I ever will, but I am just glad that I have them.

    I don't understand why people are so against recording. Yes I understand that the recordings could get into the wrong hands but that is no reason do disallow recording.

    I am not much of a gossiper or manipulator and so whatever comes out of my mouth is basically public record as far as I am concerned. If someone records me so what - the bank, my employer, my wife. Why don't other people see it this way?

     

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    FloridaGentleman, Sep 30th, 2012 @ 9:26am

    Heck, even this morning, at the top of her lungs she threatened to kill me, and that too was recorded.

     

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    Noah Moore, Oct 7th, 2012 @ 12:42pm

    Recordin in MY home.

    I am interviewing contractors regarding improvements to my home. Since some do not give a detailed proposal in writing, I have been covertly recording our conversations in or about my home for the purpose of archiving our agreements and expectations. May I legally do this and even use it in Court if later necessary? Is my personal belief correct that the contractor does not have any right of expectation of privacy in MY home?

     

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    b, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 9:09pm

    recording meetings between myself and my own personal attorney

    is it legal to record meetings between myself and my own attorney, which i am paying 350.00 an hour to obtain his services

     

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    concerned parent, Sep 8th, 2013 @ 10:16am

    Recording biological parent visit

    My neighbors have a young girl whom they have sole custody of... We are interested in recording the allowed visits with her biological mother - she's a pathological liar, drug addict and felon.

    Where does the law stand on putting a hidden camera or voice recorder on the child (ie: pin or button or watch?) whilst visiting with this woman?

     

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    JSB, Oct 26th, 2013 @ 7:53pm

    Recording

    I read through many of the comments, but not all of them because I would be here all night. I live in Connecticut and my family and I have rented for the past two years (temporary move). When we moved in, the house was in disarray. Holes repaired on walls without being re-painted, bathroom vanity drawers broken and laying on the floor, house not clean, etc-etc... This was all from the homeowners, not previous tenants. Now we are moving out and I feel like she is going to stick it to us( she has $ 3,000 of ours including pet and security deposits) She is saying we need to repaint, wood floors have scratches, screens replaced, and on and on... I had to re-paint three of the four bedrooms when moving in because the walls were terrible. If we didn't move here from 1500 miles away, we would've just walked out, but she knew our option were limited. So.... My question is, I'm trying to get her to do a walk through before we move out, can I record her??? We have been looking into state laws, but they seem to contradict themselves. Any advice???

     

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    vasuna, Nov 6th, 2013 @ 9:08pm

    recording a car dealership that lied about the worth of a van because I did not think I would get another one and he was pissed there would be no money coming into his dealership.

    I totaled my van. it was an extremely special type with
    a lot of additional add on's for handicapped. I told him i would not buying another van for disabled, so he low balled
    me to the insurance company.

    He also sells used handicapped vans and had one on his lot
    same yr as mine with 30,000 more miles. I want to record the conversation of how much he was selling this car for
    compared to what he told the insurance company.

    As I would like to sue this person under ADA. However he is in southern calif and I know they have stringent laws
    about secretly recording conversations.

     

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    John, Nov 7th, 2013 @ 5:26pm

    recording others without consent

    My girlfriend was wrongfully detained by Loss Prevention and accussed of thief. She think the LP had a tape recorder and tape her conversation. She on probation and she told the LP that she did not want to deal with police because of her probation. They release her, but can they record her secretly and play it to law enforcement?

     

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    Rick, Jan 23rd, 2014 @ 4:29pm

    Dr. lies

    Can I record my Dr. appointment conversation without him knowing. I have caught him lying about me in his records about my health.

     

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      nasch (profile), Jan 23rd, 2014 @ 4:39pm

      Re: Dr. lies

      Can I record my Dr. appointment conversation without him knowing. I have caught him lying about me in his records about my health.

      A) Check your state laws whether you live in a single party or two party consent state, and B) Wouldn't it be better to just find a new doctor?

       

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    phil74 (profile), Feb 6th, 2014 @ 1:28pm

    recording doctor's conversations

    I am messily divorced. I secretly recorded my son's doctor giving my son's prognosis. Doctor admitted my son's mom is neglectful, even though the doctor is friends with my ex-wife. When doctor found out she was recorded, she got mad and changed her story, to make ex look better. Now I am in court, disputing the doctor's new story. I think it should be cut-and-dry that doctor got mad about recording and is lying to help my ex.
    Can any lawyers give me advice/expectations?

     

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      nasch (profile), Feb 6th, 2014 @ 5:42pm

      Re: recording doctor's conversations

      Can any lawyers give me advice/expectations?

      You're already in a court case, why are you asking on an internet forum rather than consulting with your lawyer?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2014 @ 8:47am

        Re: Re: recording doctor's conversations

        I was just asking if anyone out there has any particular experience with this kind of thing, to find some kind of precedent. My lawyer is doing everything I could have hoped for, but sometimes a lawyer or a client somewhere in the country might have gone through the exact same type of situation. I am trying to help out as much as I can, since this is the most important undertaking of my life. Any extra info would be appreciated.

         

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    phil74 (profile), Feb 6th, 2014 @ 1:31pm

    recording doctor's conversations...

    ...about the recordings I made; recordings were done in a 1-party state and court case is also in an (adjoining) 1-party state.

     

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    phil74, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 2:14pm

    Also, I forgot to mention; the reason I am in court is because I am suing for custody due to negligence AND abuse issues on the part of my ex-wife. The doctor is not a party to the suit, nor was the suit caused by this recording. It just seemed like ammunition to bolster my allegations. The doctor is aware that my ex-wife and I are in a custody dispute, and she was aware of it at the time of our conversation.

     

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    Unknown questioner, Mar 5th, 2014 @ 2:54pm

    recording a former boss.

    Ok well i have been researching things in reguard to a case in pursuing for a lawsuit against my former job. All i wish to know is it legal for someone to call my previous job acting like a new employer getting a reference if they stat before hand that they are being recorded and ask if its ok? Ive seen attorneys which do it themselves but must pay around 100 dollars just for this. So is it legal for someone thats not an attorney to do it?

     

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    Joanne, Apr 3rd, 2014 @ 12:49pm

    Phone recordings

    I want to know if I am being recorded. Luckily in the state of Washington, all parties involved in the conversation must be made aware that the conversation is being recorded.

     

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    Falcon, Apr 3rd, 2014 @ 6:54pm

    Monitoring behavior

    I think that if there are chronic situations that warrant the monitoring/recording, then I think it should be allowed. If an environment has a chronic problem, such as harassing someone constantly or maybe stealing, then it would make sense to have the place under surveillance either at all times or randomly. There should be a sign informing people who frequent the area that it is under surveillance in random areas. I think that this is the best way to catch someone in the wrong, and have proof.

     

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    in pain, Apr 7th, 2014 @ 8:15pm

    in colorado doctor and patient care recording

    I'm hoping someone can help.... due to my health insurance I am forced to see a doctor that is not interested in giving me proper patient care. Before I was forced to go to him I had seen two doctors that said I had bulging disks in my back due to injury which were confirmed by x rays as well as MRI but the doctor that I have to see doesn't want to acknowledge the results of tests because he didn't order them nor wants to. He admits that there is definitely an injury but doesn't want to treat / acknowledge the degree of injury so I can get the care I need and get back to work. is it illegal to audio record the conversation between myself and the doctor that is treating about the care plan/ treatment plan?

     

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    Concerned mother, Apr 12th, 2014 @ 8:07am

    Recording a chat that wasn't properly shut down

    I was video chatting with my pre-teen. My pre-teen turned the video chat face down but did not shut it off, so audio was still on. I then heard a (one sided because it was a phone call) conversation take place, a phone call spewing "I'm going to..." threats, and then throwing of objects and cursing the person the adult was talking to after. I also heard my pre-teen and her friend laughing and talking for the most of the time, so the entire conversation was in front of them. The threats were against myself. Let's say this conversation was recorded, would that be admissible in court in a one party consent state?

     

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