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Is it legal to have hidden audio recorders in your home to…

Customer Question
Is it legal to...

Is it legal to have hidden audio recorders in your home to catch infidelity?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

It is not a real estate question. Its more of a privacy issue - in California.

Lawyer's Assistant: Has any paperwork been filed?

No.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

No paperwork has been filed. It is a married couple in California. She believes that he is cheating on her. She wants to hide an audio recorder to verify her suspiscions.

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Family Law
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Answered in 3 hours by:
12/1/2017
Family Lawyer: LegalGems, Lawyer replied 7 months ago
LegalGems
LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,703
Experience: Experienced Family Law Attorney
Verified

Hello! I will be reviewing your question and posting a response momentarily; if you have any follow up questions please respond here. Thanks!

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Family Lawyer: LegalGems, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

I am sorry to hear that you suspect this;

penal code 632 makes the unauthorized recording of any party (all parties must consent to being recorded) that has a reasonable expectation of privacy (ie in a home) a misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $2500 and up to 1 year in jail;please see the statute below with additional information below that:

(a) A person who, intentionally and without the consent of all parties to a confidential communication, uses an electronic amplifying or recording device to eavesdrop upon or record the confidential communication, whether the communication is carried on among the parties in the presence of one another or by means of a telegraph, telephone, or other device, except a radio, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) per violation, or imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or in the state prison, or by both that fine and imprisonment. If the person has previously been convicted of a violation of this section or Section 631, 632.5, 632.6, 632.7, or 636, the person shall be punished by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per violation, by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or in the state prison, or by both that fine and imprisonment.

(b) For the purposes of this section, “person” means an individual, business association, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, or other legal entity, and an individual acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of any government or subdivision thereof, whether federal, state, or local, but excludes an individual known by all parties to a confidential communication to be overhearing or recording the communication.

(c) For the purposes of this section, “confidential communication” means any communication carried on in circumstances as may reasonably indicate that any party to the communication desires it to be confined to the parties thereto, but excludes a communication made in a public gathering or in any legislative, judicial, executive, or administrative proceeding open to the public, or in any other circumstance in which the parties to the communication may reasonably expect that the communication may be overheard or recorded.

(d) Except as proof in an action or prosecution for violation of this section, evidence obtained as a result of eavesdropping upon or recording a confidential communication in violation of this section is not admissible in any judicial, administrative, legislative, or other proceeding.

(e) This section does not apply (1) to any public utility engaged in the business of providing communications services and facilities, or to the officers, employees, or agents thereof, if the acts otherwise prohibited by this section are for the purpose of construction, maintenance, conduct, or operation of the services and facilities of the public utility, (2) to the use of any instrument, equipment, facility, or service furnished and used pursuant to the tariffs of a public utility, or (3) to any telephonic communication system used for communication exclusively within a state, county, city and county, or city correctional facility.

(f) This section does not apply to the use of hearing aids and similar devices, by persons afflicted with impaired hearing, for the purpose of overcoming the impairment to permit the hearing of sounds ordinarily audible to the human ear.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 855, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2017.)

------

Additionally the party being recorded can sue for invasion of privacy, a civil tort cause of action, which can include actual damages, pain and suffering and even punitive damages designed to punish the defendant and deter others from similar conduct.

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Family Lawyer: LegalGems, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

Hello again; just checking in to see how things worked out;

If you have no further questions a positive rating is most appreciated (at no additional cost to you) and allows the site to credit my account for the time spent assisting you!

if you have further questions please don't hesitate to reach out to me here on Just Answerand I will do my best to get you the requested information.
Thanks!

The above information is for educational purposes only. A consultation with a private attorney is recommended so they can apply the law to your specific facts, and suggest the best course of action. An attorney can be located here:
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