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John, Attorney
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If someone in a 1-party consent state covertly records a telephone

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If someone in a 1-party consent state covertly records a telephone conversation with a person living in a 2-party consent state, which law prevails? Should the fact that the conversation is being recorded be disclosed to the person in the 2-party consent state?
Hi, thanks for submitting your question today. In the instance where a communication crosses state lines it becomes a federal matter; covered by federal law. Federal wire tap law is a one-party consent law - meaning only one person in a conversation needs to consent to its recording for the recording to be legal; assuming the communication is recorded for a legal purpose (e.g., not to blackmail someone).

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Not only have I received these calls from Utah, I have also received them from Washington state and Massachusetts. The company is based in Utah; some of the callers seem to be working from another location. If the Washington and Massachusetts area codes are on mobile phones, there's no way of knowing the physical location of the caller. Does the fact that the calls are coming from 2-party consent state area codes have any bearing on which law prevails or does the state in which the company is based (Utah) prevail? Thanks.

No, it does not matter from which state these other persons are calling. What matters is that that the call crosses state lines - then it becomes subject to federal law. Federal law is a one party consent law - meaning you can record them without the other person's consent.

Let me know if you have any follow-up questions. Thanks
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