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  1. #1

    Default Recording of Conversations at Home

    My question involves civil rights in the State of: California

    Hypothetically...if someone wanted to voice record a conversation in their place of residence with the owner who also lives in the same residence without their knowledge to reveal personal threat and criminal activity, would they be breaking any laws?

    I do understand such may not be submissible in court, but what about reporting crime to authorities?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    7,858

    Default Re: Recording of Conversations at Home

    California is a 2-party state so you must have consent of both parties. If the evidence is inadmissible in court as having been illegally obtained, what good is it? Even if the police were to try and pursue a case using such evidence which is unlikely given the nature of it, they would need additional properly obtained evidence to do anything about it. Well, except for arresting you and charging you with a crime since you were nice enough to give them the evidence.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    3,835

    Default Re: Recording of Conversations at Home

    Quote Quoting spydrworks
    View Post
    My question involves civil rights in the State of: California

    Hypothetically...if someone wanted to voice record a conversation in their place of residence with the owner who also lives in the same residence without their knowledge to reveal personal threat and criminal activity, would they be breaking any laws?

    I do understand such may not be submissible in court, but what about reporting crime to authorities?
    The federal Exclusionary rule generally only forbids evidence obtained by police illegally, not a citizen, unless CA's laws do not permit it?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,589

    Default Re: Recording of Conversations at Home

    Quote Quoting spydrworks
    View Post
    My question involves civil rights in the State of: California

    Hypothetically...if someone wanted to voice record a conversation in their place of residence with the owner who also lives in the same residence without their knowledge to reveal personal threat and criminal activity, would they be breaking any laws?

    I do understand such may not be submissible in court, but what about reporting crime to authorities?
    That would depend on the criminal activity.

    It would generally be permitted if related to "extortion, kidnapping, bribery, any felony involving violence against the person, a violation of Section 653m, or any crime in connection therewith."
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    7,858

    Default Re: Recording of Conversations at Home

    Quote Quoting BOR
    View Post
    The federal Exclusionary rule generally only forbids evidence obtained by police illegally, not a citizen, unless CA's laws do not permit it?
    Note the bold portion below.

    PENAL CODE
    SECTION 632

    632. (a) Every person who, intentionally and without the consent of
    all parties to a confidential communication, by means of any
    electronic amplifying or recording device, eavesdrops upon or records
    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), or imprisonment in the 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), by
    imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year, or in the
    state prison, or by both that fine and imprisonment.
    (b) The term "person" includes 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) The term "confidential communication" includes 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, no evidence obtained as a result of eavesdropping upon
    or recording a confidential communication in violation of this
    section shall be 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, where 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, or (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.

    Also, per cdwjava's post:

    633.5. 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.

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