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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
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What are the exceptions to the CA recorded audio two-party

consent law? I am having... Show More
consent law? I am having financial disagreements with a business partner. He has made several incriminating statements but I can't get him admit to it in an email. He is very savvy.

My question is would there be an exception to the two-party consent law if I secretly recorded a conversation in a room that already had security cameras? The theory being, there are cameras in our office and nobody even remembers they are there so conversation are usually uncensored but I can't access the video without raising suspicion. Otherwise, could I record a conversation in a different place, public or private, that had security cameras in plain view?

Does having security cameras , either ours or a 3rd party's, in plain view serve as notice that any conversation may not be confidential and , is therefore, an exception to two-party consent.
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Hello,

The principal exception to the two-party consent laws (Penal Code 632), is found in Penal Code 633.5, which provides: "Nothing in Section 631, 632, 632.5, 632.6, or 632.7 prohibits one party to a confidential communication from recording the communication 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. Nothing in Section 631, 632, 632.5, 632.6, or 632.7 renders any evidence so obtained inadmissible in a prosecution for extortion, kidnapping, bribery, any felony involving violence against the person, a violation of Section 653m, or any crime in connection therewith."

In short, an individual has no reasonable expectation of privacy in a conversation wherein the individual threatens the other party to the conversation, with a criminal act identified in Penal Code 633.5.

I don't know if this helps you, but as you mentioned that the other party has made certain "incriminating" statements, if any are related to the commission of a crime against you, then you would be entitled to record the conversation without prior disclosure to the other party.

The presence of video cameras in a room do not remove a person's reasonable expectation of privacy in an audio conversation, because it is commonly known by the general public that video surveillance cameras do not record audio signals. However, if it is known within your organization that the video surveillance cameras do record audio, then that would destroy everyone's reasonable expectation of privacy, to the extent that they have advance notice that conversations are routinely recorded within your offices.

Other than that -- no audio recording is permitted without advance consent of all parties.

Hope this helps.