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  1. #1
    b11_ is offline Member
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    tape-recording someone in the room

    What is the name of your state?

    Pa.

    Is it legal to tape-record someone who is in the same room and not ask for permission to tape-record them?
  2. #2
    JETX is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by b11_
    Is it legal to tape-record someone who is in the same room and not ask for permission to tape-record them?
    Of course it is. However, what you plan to do with that recording... may or may not be allowed by law.
  3. #3
    BelizeBreeze is offline Senior Member
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    what 'room' are we talking about?
    (stepping the the mire....)
  4. #4
    b11_ is offline Member
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    Room - dental office

    Will use tape recording if I have to sue dentist
  5. #5
    CALIF-PROLAW30 Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by b11_
    Room - dental office

    Will use tape recording if I have to sue dentist

    My response:

    "If I have to sue"??

    Why, you're a little bit nut baggy, aren't you . . .

    IAAL
  6. #6
    b11_ is offline Member
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    What do you mean?
  7. #7
    Ohiogal is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by b11_
    What is the name of your state?

    Pa.

    Is it legal to tape-record someone who is in the same room and not ask for permission to tape-record them?
    Actually the correct answer is NO IT IS NOT LEGAL IN PA. Pa is a two-party state, one of twelve in the US, that requires the permission of all parties in the conversation in order to tape record.
  8. #8
    Ohiogal is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by JETX
    Of course it is. However, what you plan to do with that recording... may or may not be allowed by law.
    Actually JETX, PA is a two party state -- hence it is NOT legal to record the conversation without the consent of all involved.
  9. #9
    JETX is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ohiogal
    Actually JETX, PA is a two party state -- hence it is NOT legal to record the conversation without the consent of all involved.
    Sorry, but you are NOT correct. There is NO law preventing someone from recording an otherwise unprotected conversation. The issue of legality only becomes relevant when you do something with that recording.

    Read 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. §§ 5703, 5704. 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," 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 5702.

    A trial court has held that a communication protected by the legislation is one in which there is an expectation that it will not be recorded by any electronic device, rather than one in which there is a general expectation of privacy. Thus, the fact that a participant may believe he will have to reveal the contents of a communication, or that other parties may repeat the contents, does not necessarily mean that he would have expected that it would be recorded, and it is the expectation that the communication would not be recorded that triggers the wiretapping law's protections. Pennsylvania v. McIvor, 670 A.2d 697 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1996), petition for appeal denied, 692 A.2d 564 (Pa. 1997).
    Last edited by JETX; 05-25-2006 at 10:10 PM.
  10. #10
    AHA
    AHA is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by b11_
    Will use tape recording if I have to sue dentist
    Sue dentist for what??
  11. #11
    john123456 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by JETX
    Sorry, but you are NOT correct. There is NO law preventing someone from recording an otherwise unprotected conversation. The issue of legality only becomes relevant when you do something with that recording.

    Read 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. §§ 5703, 5704. 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," 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 5702.

    A trial court has held that a communication protected by the legislation is one in which there is an expectation that it will not be recorded by any electronic device, rather than one in which there is a general expectation of privacy. Thus, the fact that a participant may believe he will have to reveal the contents of a communication, or that other parties may repeat the contents, does not necessarily mean that he would have expected that it would be recorded, and it is the expectation that the communication would not be recorded that triggers the wiretapping law's protections. Pennsylvania v. McIvor, 670 A.2d 697 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1996), petition for appeal denied, 692 A.2d 564 (Pa. 1997).
    JETX:

    I think you are agreeing with Ohiogal.

    The case you cited states simply that the definition of oral communication “is the expectation that one's communication will not be recorded” (not one of an expectation of privacy). Certainly, the dentist did not expect his discussions to be recorded.
  12. #12
    BelizeBreeze is offline Senior Member
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    Here we go yet again.

    The reason I asked in what room is just for this 'expectation of privacy' issue. Saying that such was conducted in a 'dentist's office' is of insufficient depth to ascertain exactly where the recording occurred and thus, the legal ramifications.

    The scenario could play out from the recording was made in the waiting room where 20 other people were present with the recorder in plain view to the recorder was hidden and the recording was done in the Dentist's office behind closed doors.

    Each scenario has it own unique legal requirments.

    Although I tend to side with Jet on this one, (lack of sufficient facts from which to state a final opinion), there are many other factors that will come into play.

    Also, unlike Colorado which specifically stipulates that "...Anyone who is not "visibly present" during a conversation who overhears or records the conversation without the consent of at least one of the parties commits a felony", Pennsylvania has no such prohibition.

    Therefore, where EXACTLY was the recording made, was the recording device hidden or in plain view and what are the circumstances surrounding your (supposed) need to record?
  13. #13
    Ohiogal is offline Senior Member
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    Well Jetx has a point, but with it being a two party state, there is no legal use for the tape afterwards which defeats the purpose of taping. But BB also has a point. If the person sees the recorder and knows it is on then it is implied that the person knows they are being taped and consents unless they explicitly don't. My purpose for saying it is not legal is because if you tape the dentist without his consent (which to me taping him public with the recorder showing or where there is no expectation of privacy is WITH his consent) then you can't do anything with the tape without legal problems. So we all agree but were looking at it differently.
  14. #14
    JETX is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ohiogal
    Well Jetx has a point, but with it being a two party state, there is no legal use for the tape afterwards which defeats the purpose of taping.
    Not true. People tape for all kinds of reasons.... because they want to memorialize their childs first words.....
    because they want to make sure that they get the facts straight for later.....
    because they want to verify conversations for 'quality purposes'.....
    because they want to make sure that they get the salesmans statements correct.....
    or any of 100's of other perfectly valid reasons.

    My purpose for saying it is not legal is because if you tape the dentist without his consent (which to me taping him public with the recorder showing or where there is no expectation of privacy is WITH his consent) then you can't do anything with the tape without legal problems.
    See..... you even admit that you were wrong. There is NOTHING in the original post to even suggest the use of that recording. The question was a very simple "Is it legal to tape-record someone who is in the same room and not ask for permission to tape-record them?". And the answer to that very simple question is clearly YES. However, when you put YOUR extension to that question, it is clear that the perfectly legal recording cannot be used in court..... without facing a legal challenge.
    That tape can be used in all sorts of other methods that are perfectly legal.

    So we all agree but were looking at it differently.
    Nope. Don't impose YOUR version on someone elses post, changing it, then try to claim YOUR circumstance is correct.
  15. #15
    averad is offline Member
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    Why not just get a new Dentist?

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