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  1. #1

    Angry California Phone Recording Statutes of Limitations (Criminal and Civil)

    My question involves criminal and civil law for the state of: California

    When living in a one-party consent state, I have habitually recorded all of my telephone calls. I have only retained the recordings that I deemed especially interesting.

    Now, one of the recordings that I may have retained would be material evidence in Federal civil litigation to which I am not a party.

    Upon information and belief, the other party in that call may have then been located in California. That party was definitely unaware that I had a recorder running, and is still so unaware. This call occurred in 2014; I donít recall if it was slightly more, or slightly less than exactly five years ago. I do clearly recall the content of the conversation, which I found quite shocking.

    I cannot in conscience stand idly by and let a liar attack an innocent person in court, when I may possess evidence that would completely demolish the liar's credibility. I am currently searching old disks for the pertinent recording, plus the written notes that I recall having made afterwards; I think that I must have retained part or all of the recording, because it was certainly interesting. Obviously, if I find it, I do not want to be arrested or sued in California jurisdiction. The liar in question is a vengeful character, currently on the warpath against someone other than myself.

    What are the pertinent criminal and civil statutes of limitations in California?

    From when would the respective limitations run? From the date of the recording? Or would any limitations be tolled by the discovery rule?

    Would Federal civil rules of evidence admit a recording that was illegal pursuant to state law on one end (but not the other end) of a telephone call, for the purpose of impeaching testimony?

    Thanks in advance for any tips, especially those with citations!

    P.S., I know that I should consult an attorney. I cannot properly afford one, especially when I am not even a party to litigation. However, I am handy with legal stuff; and better understanding my position will help me decide if I should sell a kidney or something, so that I can obtain counsel to protect my interests as a witness in someone else's very nasty lawsuit.

    P.P.S., I searched the forum before posting. Only found one old post that did not adequately address the question.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Default Re: California Phone Recording Statutes of Limitations (Criminal and Civil)

    632PC is the operative statute. California extends this law to cover people calling California from out of state. It's a misdemeanor so it's a one-year statute of limitations.

    Such illegally recorded evidence is not admissible either in Federal court or in California courts (note this is not true of all states). While it's not admissible, it may be discoverable.
    Operative rule Federally is Schwarz v. Texas.

    I'm not sure what civil matter you wish to apply the statute of limitations to.

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