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Thread: Weare, New Hampshire Police Practices Protested

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    Weare, New Hampshire Police Practices Protested

    Thursday, Apr. 28, 2011

    WEARE – More than 30 people gathered in front of the Weare police station Wednesday to protest the department, which has in the last 13 months arrested and charged three people with felony wiretapping for recording police activity.
    Waving “Don’t Tread on Me” flags and signs reading “We Will Record,” protesters argued that the department overstepped its authority by bringing charges against people who recorded officers performing public duties.

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    New Hampshire law requires all parties consent to audio record. There is no exception to the law for public environments, or for public employees. Therefore, though the arrests may be unethical, NH law WAS broken. The arrests are valid. The people should have recorded video with no audio, then they would have a case.

    On a side note, Maine only requires one party to consent to recording. So in Maine you can record a conversation between you and an officer and they cannot prevent it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by boyscout399 View Post
    New Hampshire law requires all parties consent to audio record. There is no exception to the law for public environments, or for public employees. Therefore, though the arrests may be unethical, NH law WAS broken. The arrests are valid. The people should have recorded video with no audio, then they would have a case.

    On a side note, Maine only requires one party to consent to recording. So in Maine you can record a conversation between you and an officer and they cannot prevent it.
    That may be what the LAW says.... But read Part I Article 8 of the NH Constitutionn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Highline View Post
    That may be what the LAW says.... But read Part I Article 8 of the NH Constitutionn.
    [Art.] 8. [Accountability of Magistrates and Officers; Public’s Right to Know.] All power residing originally in, and being derived from, the people, all the magistrates and officers of government are their substitutes and agents, and at all times accountable to them. Government, therefore, should be open, accessible, accountable and responsive. To that end, the public’s right of access to governmental proceedings and records shall not be unreasonably restricted.

    June 2, 1784
    Amended 1976 by providing right of access to governmental proceedings and records.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blk97F150 View Post
    [Art.] 8. [Accountability of Magistrates and Officers; Public’s Right to Know.] All power residing originally in, and being derived from, the people, all the magistrates and officers of government are their substitutes and agents, and at all times accountable to them. Government, therefore, should be open, accessible, accountable and responsive. To that end, the public’s right of access to governmental proceedings and records shall not be unreasonably restricted.

    June 2, 1784
    Amended 1976 by providing right of access to governmental proceedings and records.
    Access to records does not equal recording them. Recording them is also not necessary to be open, accessible, accountable, and responsive. So that Constitutional clause has no bearing on allowing or disallowing recording.

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    Quote Originally Posted by boyscout399 View Post
    Access to records does not equal recording them. Recording them is also not necessary to be open, accessible, accountable, and responsive. So that Constitutional clause has no bearing on allowing or disallowing recording.
    Never said it does. Someone else mentioned that Article, I researched it to see what it said... and reposted it for others.

    For what its worth, I agree with you. (Although I do think that it *should* be permissable to record the police....it doesn't appear thats the case NH ).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blk97F150 View Post
    Never said it does. Someone else mentioned that Article, I researched it to see what it said... and reposted it for others.

    For what its worth, I agree with you. (Although I do think that it *should* be permissable to record the police....it doesn't appear thats the case NH ).
    Sorry, I wasn't implying that you thought that, your post was just the easiest to quote and seemed the most relevant to my reply. I also agree that it *should* be permissible, but the law is the law

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    A suggestion I read on another thread...
    What happens if, when police approach you, you immediately inform them that you're recording?
    If they stay, they've consented, right?
    "I am audio recording right now; if you don't want to be recorded you should stay away."
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    Most Maine officers know they are being recorded while stopping someone for OC. However wanting to doccument and legally being able to do so are two seperate things. in Maine its single party concent. NH law states otherwise. The peoples arrested were arrested for violating law. simple as that. brings a new light to "know your stuff before you open the box" ;-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by MKEgal View Post
    A suggestion I read on another thread...
    What happens if, when police approach you, you immediately inform them that you're recording?
    If they stay, they've consented, right?
    "I am audio recording right now; if you don't want to be recorded you should stay away."
    You have to have consent in NH. The officer may be required to stay, yet not give consent, such as if he's conducting a legitimate legal investigation of you. If your scenario were true, then any murder suspect could just carry a recorder on them and all the police couldn't arrest them without consenting to a recording... That's not morally right either.

    The correct action is saying, for my safety I'm recording this conversation. If they say, I don't want you recording, you turn the recorder off.

    In Maine it's different and if they say I don't want you recording, you say tough poop I'm doing it anyway, lol. (maybe a little more eloquently though)

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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    This law is an anachronism. Wire tapping is tapping a phone conversation without consent of the other party. News videos everything--with no consent. Cell phones, VRDs, small recorders were never even conceived of when these laws were passed. It amazes me that this law hasn't been tossed yet. If the cop or public official is afraid of the light of day being shown on him he is doing something wrong, period.

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    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/misc.php?do=showrules

    (5) CITE TO AUTHORITY: If you state a rule of law, it is incumbent upon you to try to cite, as best you can, to authority. Citing to authority, using links when available,is what makes OCDO so successful. An authority is a published source of law that can back your claim up - statute, ordinance, court case, newspaper article covering a legal issue, etc.




    http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/.../570-a-mrg.htm
    570-A:2 Interception and Disclosure of Telecommunication or Oral Communications Prohibited. –
    I. A person is guilty of a class B felony if, except as otherwise specifically provided in this chapter or without the consent of all parties to the communication, the person:
    (a) Wilfully intercepts, endeavors to intercept, or procures any other person to intercept or endeavor to intercept, any telecommunication or oral communication;
    (b) Wilfully uses, endeavors to use, or procures any other person to use or endeavor to use any electronic, mechanical, or other device to intercept any oral communication when:
    (1) Such device is affixed to, or otherwise transmits a signal through, a wire, cable, or other like connection used in telecommunication, or
    (2) Such device transmits communications by radio, or interferes with the transmission of such communication, or
    (3) Such use or endeavor to use (A) takes place on premises of any business or other commercial establishment, or (B) obtains or is for the purpose of obtaining information relating to the operations of any business or other commercial establishment; or
    (c) Wilfully discloses, or endeavors to disclose, to any other person the contents of any telecommunication or oral communication, knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained through the interception of a telecommunication or oral communication in violation of this paragraph; or
    (d) Willfully uses, or endeavors to use, the contents of any telecommunication or oral communication, knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained through the interception of a telecommunication or oral communication in violation of this paragraph.
    I-a. A person is guilty of a misdemeanor if, except as otherwise specifically provided in this chapter or without consent of all parties to the communication, the person knowingly intercepts a telecommunication or oral communication when the person is a party to the communication or with the prior consent of one of the parties to the communication, but without the approval required by RSA 570-A:2, II(d).
    There's the whole section. Let's boil it down to the relevant passage:
    570-A:2 Interception and Disclosure of Telecommunication or Oral Communications Prohibited. –
    I. A person is guilty of a class B felony if, except as otherwise specifically provided in this chapter or without the consent of all parties to the communication, the person:
    (a) Wilfully intercepts, endeavors to intercept, or procures any other person to intercept or endeavor to intercept, any . . . oral communication;
    . . .
    I-a. A person is guilty of a misdemeanor if, except as otherwise specifically provided in this chapter or without consent of all parties to the communication, the person knowingly intercepts a(n) . . . oral communication when the person is a party to the communication or with the prior consent of one of the parties to the communication, but without the approval required by RSA 570-A:2, II(d).
    Seems straightforward, right? Absent any statutory definition, we rely on the common usage, and everyone knows what an "oral communication" is, right?

    A-ha, but there is a statutory definition, which takes precedence over, and excludes, any other defintion.
    570-A:1 Definitions. – As used in this chapter:
    . . . .
    II. "Oral communication'' means any oral communication uttered by a person exhibiting an expectation that such communication is not subject to interception under circumstances justifying such expectation.
    Everyone loves to read read 570-A:2, I(a) as if it exists in a vacuum. It doesn't. It's subject to the definition given in 570-A:1, II.

    Throw out what you think an "oral communication" is. Unless it is communication that takes place "under circumstances justifying" an expectation of privacy, it is not an "oral communication", and RSA 570-A:2 does not apply.

    That's why these bogus wiretapping charges are always dropped, because they know they will lose at trial. Especially in the case of someone holding a camcorder, it's obvious that any word spoken is being recorded. Like Dave Ridley told the Concord police officer, "You have the right to remain silent if you don't wish to be recorded."
    Last edited by KBCraig; 05-02-2011 at 06:43 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KBCraig View Post
    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/misc.php?do=showrules

    (5) CITE TO AUTHORITY: If you state a rule of law, it is incumbent upon you to try to cite, as best you can, to authority. Citing to authority, using links when available,is what makes OCDO so successful. An authority is a published source of law that can back your claim up - statute, ordinance, court case, newspaper article covering a legal issue, etc.




    http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/.../570-a-mrg.htm


    There's the whole section. Let's boil it down to the relevant passage:


    Seems straightforward, right? Absent any statutory definition, we rely on the common usage, and everyone knows what an "oral communication" is, right?

    A-ha, but there is a statutory definition, which takes precedence over, and excludes, any other defintion.


    Everyone loves to read read 570-A:2, I(a) as if it exists in a vacuum. It doesn't. It's subject to the definition given in 570-A:1, II.

    Throw out what you think an "oral communication" is. Unless it is communication that takes place "under circumstances justifying" an expectation of privacy, it is not an "oral communication", and RSA 570-A:2 does not apply.

    That's why these bogus wiretapping charges are always dropped, because they know they will lose at trial. Especially in the case of someone holding a camcorder, it's obvious that any word spoken is being recorded. Like Dave Ridley told the Concord police officer, "You have the right to remain silent if you don't wish to be recorded."
    In light of this development, it appears that there may be an expectation of privacy argument that is very valid. Thank you for your clarification of NH law. I'm no expert when it comes to NH and I appreciate it.

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