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Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
Actually I think you may have gotten some bad information because it is entirely legal to record a person without their consent in NY as long as you are a party to the conversation. NY is considered a "one party consent state" and the applicable law is N.Y. Penal Law §250.00(1) . It is lawful to record a telephone conversation if one is a party to the conversation or has received the consent of a party to the communication. Accord People v. Lasher, 447 N.E.2d. 70, 71 (N.Y. 1983). This also applies to in person conversations.
So feel free to record one of his abusive outbursts, or actually a couple different ones if possible, so you can build your case and then move to have yourself appointed as mother's legal guardian based on the stepfather's elder abuse.