Can I Record A Person Without His Consent Or Knowledge?

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A person called her friend, left a voicemail message, then left her phone open and talked at a private meeting. The dialog was recorded on the voicemail, and was later recorded and used against the person. Is this legal in any situation?

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

Because the person who started the recording (a voicemail) is also the person against whom the recording is being used, this is probably legal. Some states have strict laws against recording people without consent, but in this situation, the person consented to record her voice on the voicemail. Although she may not have consented to have her voice continue to be recorded, the continued recording was due to her own error. Additionally, as long as the proper foundation is laid, a court will likely find such a recording admissible. If, however, the recording was used against another person at the private meeting, some states may prohibit the recording’s use. Speaking to a local attorney would clarify if any laws protect anyone recorded.

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Author: House Attorney