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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Lawyer
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My wife secretly recorded a conversation between us in our

Customer Question

my wife secretly recorded a conversation between us in our home in Oregon and has used it in court for a restraining order against me. I believe this is not legal under Oregon, or federal laws. Have my civil rights been violated by her actions?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

My name is ***** ***** I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.
Ore Rev. Stat., Section 165.543 only makes it a crime for a person to record a conversation if they are NOT a party. A person is allowed to secretly record their own conversations under that statute. Federal law wouldn't apply in this situation, but even if it did, that also requires only the consent of one party to the conversation. So, I'm sorry to say, there was no violation of the law or your rights in this situation.
I apologize that this was probably not the Answer you were hoping to receive. However, it would be unfair to you and unprofessional of me were I to provide you with anything less than truthful and honest information. I hope you understand.
Good luck.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Lucy,
I have looked over your response, and I was wondering about section 165.540(c) requiring all participants to be informed. Could you please take a look at it.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
I'm sorry, you're right. The section I was looking at only applies to telephone or electronic communications. Recording in-person conversations requires the consent of all parties.
That means the recording could not lawfully be used to obtain a restraining order and you could file a Motion to Quash. You can also file a police report - it's a Class A misdemeanor to make an illegal recording.
But note that there is an exception for conversations that involves a felony that endangers human life under 165.540(d). I don't know what the conversation shows, but she may have been using that exception if she was seeking a restraining order.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank-You Lucy,
I have NEVER threatened my wife in any form ever. This conversation was over her alcohol abuse, and how it is affecting our daughter and our marriage. In the conversation I said she was "done" as in "your done our marriage is over". I don't believe those words can be held to a felony threat of life, can they?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
No, not at all.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank You again Lucy,
I must think over my next move, it is my daughter's well being I am most concerned about here.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
You're welcome. Good luck, whatever you decide to do.
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