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Thread: Voice recorder?

  1. #1
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    I hear lots of people on this board talking about a voice recorder to document activity.


    Is it legal to record voice in CT without consent? I know it's a felony in some states.


    I do think the recorder is a great idea if it's legal.

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    I think I'd make it obvious I were recording if I did it. No reason to be sneaky.

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    Consensus on this is to have a voice recorder with a large enough memory and leave it turned on in your pocket as you go about your daily business. If something happens you have everything leading up to it and if nothing happens, erase and start fresh the next day.

    If you fiddle about with anything on your person during a stop you are probably going to get taken down and if they know it's recording them they might shut it off or remove it from your person during a pat-down search "for officer safety".

    No, the best use for a voice recorder is to catch anything that you'd need some proof of without the aggressor being aware of it.

    Imagine how the police would have changed their story had they heard the "actual" exchange in the pool hall versus what the complainant claimed happened?

    It's a personal choice just voicing my opinions on it.

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    Good points all GC. I hadn't thought about an officers reaction if I reached into a pocket to get something during an incident.

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    Not about CT, but seems relevant to this discussion:
    http://www.thefreemanonline.org/head...-the-new-guns/
    Connecticut Carry is dedicated to advancing and protecting the fundamental civil rights of the men and women of Connecticut to keep and bear arms for self defense of themselves and the state as guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Constitution of Connecticut.

    Join us and discuss the issues: http://ctcarry.com/Forum

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    Interesting Rich. Another case of "Do as I say, not as I do" regarding police. Far as I know most patrol cars have a camera mounted filming vehicle stops etc. If people are getting arrested for filming cops without consent then I'd say officers operating a car with a camera to record unsuspecting civilians are commiting the same crime.

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    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Yep. I don't see how a law or the enforcement of a law like that could possibly stand up in court.

    Officials in those states should be ashamed of themselves. As should the citizens if they choose to do nothing about it.
    Connecticut Carry is dedicated to advancing and protecting the fundamental civil rights of the men and women of Connecticut to keep and bear arms for self defense of themselves and the state as guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Constitution of Connecticut.

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    Deadman514 wrote:
    Is it legal to record voice in CT without consent? I know it's a felony in some states.
    In a face-to-face encounter you can absolutely record the encounter without permission. If you are within earshot you can also record an encounter.

    You can't record a phone call to which all parties have not agreed to allow to be recorded. I don't think you can use any remote audio surveillance equipment either.

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    gluegun wrote:
    Deadman514 wrote:
    Is it legal to record voice in CT without consent? I know it's a felony in some states.
    In a face-to-face encounter you can absolutely record the encounter without permission. If you are within earshot you can also record an encounter.

    You can't record a phone call to which all parties have not agreed to allow to be recorded. I don't think you can use any remote audio surveillance equipment either.
    This is an interesting topic. If it were illegal to record anything with out the permission of those involved just how would the TV news people stay in business?



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    Deadman514 wrote:
    I hear lots of people on this board talking about a voice recorder to document activity.


    Is it legal to record voice in CT without consent? I know it's a felony in some states.


    I do think the recorder is a great idea if it's legal.
    Yes - it is legal for you to record your conversation with anyone. It is also legal to record and conversation at which you are "present." I looked into this before I considered carrying a voice recorder. See statutes below.

    Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-189: Eavesdropping: Class D felony.
    (a) A person is guilty of eavesdropping when he unlawfully engages in wiretapping or mechanical overhearing of a conversation.(b) Eavesdropping is a class D felony.

    (emphasis mine)

    Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-187: Definitions. Applicability.
    (a) The following definitions are applicable to sections 53a-188 and 53a-189:
    (1) "Wiretapping" means the intentional overhearing or recording of a telephonic or telegraphic communication or a communication made by cellular radio telephone by a person other than a sender or receiver thereof, without the consent of either the sender or receiver, by means of any instrument, device or equipment. The normal operation of a telephone or telegraph corporation and the normal use of the services and facilities furnished by such corporation pursuant to its tariffs shall not be deemed "wiretapping".

    (2) "Mechanical overhearing of a conversation" means the intentional overhearing or recording of a conversation or discussion, without the consent of at least one party thereto, by a person not present thereat, by means of any instrument, device or equipment.

    (emphasis mine)

    So long as you are present, you can record a conversation and it is completely legal. That is, unless you do not have your own consent.

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    Thanks GunTotingLawyer! Makes sense!

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    With regard to the law I cited above - CT actually has a pretty liberal voice recarding statute. It is sometimes referred to as a "one party recording law." Many other states require consent by all parties which results prosecution whenever police are recorded. These are called "all party" or "two party" laws.

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    GunTotingLawyer wrote:
    With regard to the law I cited above - CT actually has a pretty liberal voice recarding statute.* It is sometimes referred to as a "one party recording law."* Many other states require consent by all parties which results prosecution whenever police are recorded.* These are called "all party" or "two party" laws.
    I realize this is a bit out of scope for this thread, but I don't want anyone to get the idea that CT allows recording telephone calls you are on without notifying all parties. It doesn't.

    With some exceptions (e.g. abusive phone calls) it is unlawful for anyone in the state of CT to record a telephone conversation without written/spoken consent of all parties involved, notifying all parties that the conversation is being recorded at the start of the recording, or playing an audible tone approximately every 15 seconds while recording. It is a civil offense only, so you could be sued for damages/court costs/attorney's fees by any party who took part in the recorded conversation who was not notified, but no criminal charges will be brought against you.
    http://www.cga.ct.gov/2009/pub/chap9...Sec52-570d.htm

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    gluegun wrote:
    I realize this is a bit out of scope for this thread, but I don't want anyone to get the idea that CT allows recording telephone calls you are on without notifying all parties. It doesn't.

    With some exceptions (e.g. abusive phone calls) it is unlawful for anyone in the state of CT to record a telephone conversation without written/spoken consent of all parties involved, notifying all parties that the conversation is being recorded at the start of the recording, or playing an audible tone approximately every 15 seconds while recording. It is a civil offense only, so you could be sued for damages/court costs/attorney's fees by any party who took part in the recorded conversation who was not notified, but no criminal charges will be brought against you.
    http://www.cga.ct.gov/2009/pub/chap9...Sec52-570d.htm
    It is not "illegal" to record a telephone call so long as you adhere to wiretapping statute and have consent by one person or are involved in the conversation. By not illegal, I mean that you cannot be brought up on criminal charges for doing it. The law I cited (53a-189) is from chapter 53 of the CT Gen. Statutes which is the penal code. The law you cited (52-570d) is in the portion that deals with civil actions. Their inconsistency is a problem and one that occurs all too often between civil and criminal statutes.

    In particular, 53a-189 provides for a crime that is a class D felony. Section 52-570d simply provides the right of anyone aggrieved by your taping a phone call without their permission to sue you personally for any damages that they suffered from your taping.

    "(c) Any person aggrieved by a violation of subsection (a) of this section may bring a civil action in the Superior Court to recover damages, together with costs and a reasonable attorney's fee."

    A 2003 case citing this law (Lord v. Lord) found for the defendant because the plaintiff was not able to prove any monetary damages as a result of the taping of a phone call without his consent:

    "The court finds, therefore, that the plaintiff did not prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that he suffered actual damage as a result of the defendant's statutory violation. Accordingly, the court awards the plaintiff $ 1.00 as nominal damages, leaving only the issue of whether the plaintiff is entitled to attorneys fees and costs."

    . . .

    "Having already found that the plaintiff did not prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that he suffered actual damage, the court finds not only that the plaintiff is not entitled to attorneys fees, but also that the plaintiff cannot prevail on counts three and four."

    Now, I still would not go taping phone calls without permission. Why deal with the spectre of civil lawsuits when you can avoid them. That being said, if you are in public, record away.

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