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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33071
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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I live in Minnesota and was unknowingly video and audio taped

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I live in Minnesota and was unknowingly video and audio taped by someone who works at the company I work at. I was taped while in a restaurant having dinner with my husband and the conversation was addressed only to my husband. The person took the tape and shared it with people at work. This has affected not only my but my husbands reputation at work, in our community and my children as some of the discussion was about them(my children), work issues, health issues etc. Is what this person did legal?

Dwayne B. :

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.

Dwayne B. :

There are two different aspects here, the video and the audio.

Dwayne B. :

In general, if you are videotaped in a public place then it is absolutely legal.

Dwayne B. :

It doesn't matter whether it was in your front yard, in a restaurant, or in a mall. The courts have decided that there is no expectation of privacy when you're in public.

Dwayne B. :

Of course that would be different if you were in the bathroom or something like that.

Dwayne B. :

The audio is a little more complicated but it also revolves around the issue of an expectation of privacy.

Customer:

Yes, I figured that but it is the audio that is presenting problems

Dwayne B. :

Normally any single party can record a conversation without everyone's permission.

Dwayne B. :

It only becomes illegal if you are not a party to the conversation or don't have the permission of a party to the conversation. At that point the question of whether or not it is legal revolves, again, around an expectation of privacy.

Customer:

He was not involved in the conversation - it was just my husband and I

Dwayne B. :

The presumption is that the recording is illegal if he was not a party.

Dwayne B. :

He would then be able to assert the defense that since the conversation was taking place in public that there was no expectation of privacy.

Customer:

What avenues can be taken especially to stop the spread as it involves by children

Dwayne B. :

So then the issue would revolve around what happened factually.

Dwayne B. :

You can file for an injunction against the person using the recording in any way through the civil courts and, in addition, you can file criminal charges against them.

Customer:

He sat in a

Dwayne B. :

Minn. Stat. § 626A.0 covers this.

Customer:

Sorry, This person, in hindsight even moved his child at one point to continue taping us

Dwayne B. :

You can see the statutes at https://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/statutes/?id=626a

Customer:

I will take a quick look

Dwayne B. :

From your facts it appears clear that this was more along the lines of an intentional "bugging" as opposed to just overhearing conversation.

Dwayne B. :

And that is a crime.

Dwayne B. :

I'll be right back. Have to step away for a couple of minutes, please wait here in chat

Customer:

What type of lawyer (local) should I look for to discuss this further?

Dwayne B. :

I think the first step is to look for a lawyer that does civil litigation.

Dwayne B. :

They are probably going to send you to the local DA as well.

Customer:

Can you recommend someone in my area?

Dwayne B. :

We're not allowed to give specific referrals but you can find one at www.lawyers.com.

Dwayne B. :

That website allows you to search by area of practice as well as location.

Customer:

Thank you. Is there anything else I should be aware of or prepare for the meeting?

Dwayne B. :

No, not really. You might want to type out your version of what has happened to give tot he lawyer. That usually works out better.

Customer:

Thank you for you help. Will I be able to make a copy of our discussion after I pay?

Dwayne B. :

Yes, after you issue your Positive Rating the question will change formats to a regular Q and A. At that point you can print it using your browser's print function.

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