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Author Topic: 2 Party State  (Read 1499 times)

Zephyr

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2 Party State
« on: Nov 17, 2006, 08:22:40 AM »
Hello again Soc!

I am asking this question for a friend.

She lives in Michigan, which I believe is a 2 party state when it comes to recording phone calls.

She is a non-custodial mom and is thinking of going back to court.

A very big frustration for her is the fact that when she calls to talk with the children, dad makes them have the conversation on speaker phone with him in the room dictating what they are to say to her, or just interjecting himself with abusive comments to her directly- which the children of course hear.

This behavior of his is contrary to the part of their court order that states they are not to make disparaging remarks about each other in front of or around the children.


Because it is a phone call with her own children does she need two party notification?

Or do you have a suggestion on how she might gather evidence of this in order to present it to the judge?


socrateaser

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RE: 2 Party State
« Reply #1 on: Nov 17, 2006, 10:50:37 AM »
>Because it is a phone call with her own children does she need
>two party notification?

No. She has notice because she knows it's on speakerphone and that everyone can overhear the conversation.

>
>Or do you have a suggestion on how she might gather evidence
>of this in order to present it to the judge?

She needs to ask the court to clarify the current orders so that she is entitled to a reasonable expectation of privacy in her conversations with the child(ren). That's the only way to resolve this issue completely.

Zephyr

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RE: 2 Party State
« Reply #2 on: Nov 17, 2006, 12:31:57 PM »
just to clarify, because I think I may have worded the question wrong- would it be legal for HER to record the conversations between herself and her children...which would also have dad in the background...

socrateaser

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RE: 2 Party State
« Reply #3 on: Nov 17, 2006, 12:43:39 PM »
>just to clarify, because I think I may have worded the
>question wrong- would it be legal for HER to record the
>conversations between herself and her children...which would
>also have dad in the background...

This answer is difficult. Each state has a different statute on what sort of interception of telecommunications creates criminal liability. Each state also has a different statue re what sort of recorded evidence is admissible in that state's trial courts.

So, while it may not be criminal to record the conversation, it may nevertheless be inadmissible in court.

A person who is not a party to a phone call is not covered by criminal law, which is designed to protect the parties in the conversation. So, on your facts, recording the conversation would not be criminal if the child(ren) consent to the recording or have no reasonable expectation of privacy (e.g., because the other parent is listening on a speakerphone).

But, that may not get your recording into evidence, if the evidence code disallows any recording from an electronic communication made without all parties' express consent.

I'm dancing -- the answer is: I don't know. If you want to be certain, you'll need a local attorney to advise. I have many times in the past, researched various diffierent state statutes on this issue, and then provided my opinion. -- but, I don't have time right now -- It's a difficult legal "call." (pun intended).

 

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