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about recording phone conversations

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What is the name of your state?California.

Is anybody familiar with laws regarding recording phone conversations without the consent of the other party? A police officer (Hemet CA) told me that under certain circumstances, it's OK.
 


stealth2

Under the Radar Member
Talking to a lawyer would be a better way to access the information, than talking to a cop.
 

BelizeBreeze

Senior Member
cjbrown929 said:
What is the name of your state?California.

Is anybody familiar with laws regarding recording phone conversations without the consent of the other party? A police officer (Hemet CA) told me that under certain circumstances, it's OK.
Yes, the officer is correct.

And that circumstance would be if the OTHER PARTY gave permission :rolleyes:

Cal. Penal Code §§ 631, 632: It is a crime in California to intercept or eavesdrop upon any confidential communication, including a telephone call or wire communication, without the consent of all parties.

It is also a crime to disclose information obtained from such an interception. A first offense is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and imprisonment for no more than one year. Subsequent offenses carry a maximum fine of $10,000 and jail sentence of up to one year.

Eavesdropping upon or recording a conversation, whether by telephone (including cordless or cellular telephone) or in person, that a person would reasonably expect to be confined to the parties present, carries the same penalty as intercepting telephone or wire communications.

Conversations occurring at any public gathering that one should expect to be overheard, including any legislative, judicial or executive proceeding open to the public, are not covered by the law.

An appellate court has ruled that using a hidden video camera violates the statute. California v. Gibbons, 215 Cal. App. 3d 1204 (1989). However, a television network that used a hidden camera to videotape a conversation that took place at a business lunch meeting on a crowded outdoor patio of a public restaurant that did not include "secret" information did not violate the Penal Code's prohibition against eavesdropping because it was not a "confidential communication." Wilkins v. NBC, Inc., 71 Cal. App. 4th 1066 (1999).

Anyone injured by a violation of the wiretapping laws can recover civil damages of $5,000 or three times actual damages, whichever is greater. Cal. Penal Code § 637.2(a). A civil action for invasion of privacy also may be brought against the person who committed the violation. Cal. Penal Code § 637.2.
 

casa

Senior Member
cjbrown929 said:
What is the name of your state?California.

Is anybody familiar with laws regarding recording phone conversations without the consent of the other party? A police officer (Hemet CA) told me that under certain circumstances, it's OK.
CA is a two-party consent state. BOTH of you have to consent to the recording. Not just be 'advised' of it, but consent to it.

The exceptions are:

1. You've gained court permission to record the person under a Restraining Order.

2. The recording is from a cellphone voice mail- where the other person has left a message & are aware they are being recorded.

3. The recording is from an answering machine- again, where the other person has left a message & are aware of being recorded.
 
can i record phone conversation

California. Is it possible that the officer who told me it was "legal" to record a phone conversation without the other persons awareness and approval was referring to PC 633.5, which states, "Nothing in Section 631, 632, 632.5, 632.6, or 632.7 prohibits one party to a confidential communication from recording the conversation for the purpose of obtaining evidence reasonably believed to relate to the commission by another party to the communication of the crime of extortion, kidnapping, bribery, any felony involving violence against the person, or a violation of Section 653m" (my situation involved a violation of 653m, telephone harassment)It goes on to declare the admissibility of evidence so obtained. Thanks for all advice.
 
recording conversations

California.

Stealth: I'm getting the impression that laws like PC 633.5 can be deceptively straightforward, especially for dilettantes like myself. Thanks for reply.
 

CdwJava

Senior Member
Per the CA Attorney General and CA Case Law, PC 633.5 allows for exceptions for specific offenses (as mentioned previously.

The specified crimes are (1) extortion, (2) kidnapping, (3) bribery, (4) any felony involving "violence" against a person, and (5) obscene or harassing phone calls. (Pen. Code, § 633.5; Parra (1985) 165 Cal.App.3d 874.)

It would seem that cjbrown is correct and that the calls can probably be recorded.

However!! All because you THINK the calls are covered under PC 653m does not mean that they are. The best way could be to get a case number by reporting it to the police, then ask your phone company to put a "trap" on the line. That will "trap" the incoming number for future evidence.

- Carl
 
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recording phone conversations

I'm still in California.

Carl, or Cdw.Java: thanks for your reply. In my case, I did record my ex girlfriend during a one month period on several occasions. During that one month (9/27/2004-10/27/2004) she was under court order (tro) not to contact me, an order she found impossible to follow. She probably called me over 500 times that month. I traced about 200 of them directly to her phone using Verizon's illegal call bureau, and logged many others, all of which became the basis of a charge of violating PC 273.6(A). My concern was that the tape that I provided the DA, which contains the most damning statements by her (like "oh, screw the damn police! They aren't going to do a damn thing.") might have exposed ME to charges despite her incriminating statements, so I started going through the penal code. Hopefully, it should help. This nut (my ex) has probably called myself, friends and family almost 10,000 times. Thanks again for taking the time...
 

BelizeBreeze

Senior Member
cjbrown929 said:
I'm still in California.

Carl, or Cdw.Java: thanks for your reply. In my case, I did record my ex girlfriend during a one month period on several occasions. During that one month (9/27/2004-10/27/2004) she was under court order (tro) not to contact me, an order she found impossible to follow. She probably called me over 500 times that month. I traced about 200 of them directly to her phone using Verizon's illegal call bureau, and logged many others, all of which became the basis of a charge of violating PC 273.6(A). My concern was that the tape that I provided the DA, which contains the most damning statements by her (like "oh, screw the damn police! They aren't going to do a damn thing.") might have exposed ME to charges despite her incriminating statements, so I started going through the penal code. Hopefully, it should help. This nut (my ex) has probably called myself, friends and family almost 10,000 times. Thanks again for taking the time...
And these facts would have been valuable in getting the RIGHT answer in the very first post.
 
recording phone conversations

belizebreeze: I wrote that the officer said that "under certain circumstances" that the recordings could be legal. I'm sorry that you were not familiar with a major, and probably the only exception (PC 633.5) to the rule. But thank you for your response nonetheless.
 
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BelizeBreeze

Senior Member
Originally Posted by cjbrown929
I'm still in California.

Carl, or Cdw.Java: thanks for your reply. In my case, I did record my ex girlfriend during a one month period on several occasions. During that one month (9/27/2004-10/27/2004) she was under court order (tro) not to contact me, an order she found impossible to follow. She probably called me over 500 times that month. I traced about 200 of them directly to her phone using Verizon's illegal call bureau, and logged many others, all of which became the basis of a charge of violating PC 273.6(A). My concern was that the tape that I provided the DA, which contains the most damning statements by her (like "oh, screw the damn police! They aren't going to do a damn thing.") might have exposed ME to charges despite her incriminating statements, so I started going through the penal code. Hopefully, it should help. This nut (my ex) has probably called myself, friends and family almost 10,000 times. Thanks again for taking the time...
No. Imean the bolded part of your last post.
That kind of information which is NOT included in your ORIGINAL post waste everyone's time and changes the answer you will recieve.

If you've read some of the other threads you'll know that posting like this usually results in you receiving no further help.
 

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