Advanced Call Center

Interesting Facts About Recording Telephone Calls In Different States

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).

Illinois

Illinois is, by statute, a two-party state. However, case law from both the IL Supreme Court and various Illinois appellate courts have declared Illinois a one-party state in the case of private citizens (businesses and plain folks - NOT law enforcement). The reigning consensus is that one-party consensual recording is merely "enhanced note-taking" and since some folks 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 the state of Illinois it is illegal to monitor cordless phones.

Wisconsin

Wisconsin is currently a one-party state though recent attempts in the legislature there have attempted, unsuccessfully so far, to change it to two-party. Even so, any evidence gathered by a one-party consensual recording is inadmissible except in murder or drug cases, as they say.

The Wisconsin Stats 885.365 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 tapes.

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

Needless to say this does not allow a person not a party to the conversation to record any part of the conversation without the parties to the conversation being informed the third party is recording the conversation.

California

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

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.

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.

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.

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. Apparently the judge may use his discretion.

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:

  1. The non-consenting party threatens the life or physical well being of the consenting party, or any member of his/her family.
  2. 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

Connecticut

Connecticut joined the ranks of two-party consent about 3 years ago. The State Police there is quite diligent in enforcing the law. Ironic, since they were the ones responsible for the law going into effect by illegally recording the telephone calls of prisoners at the individual barrack when arrested.

Massachusetts

Massachusetts requires consent of al 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.

 

 


2001, 2002 Pingram Marketing.



This HTML Help has been published using the chm2web software.