What are the evidence rules for voice recordings?

Discussions on technology and it's application and implications in divorce

What are the evidence rules for voice recordings?

Postby cynicalDad » Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:24 pm

For people who have gotten voice recordings in as evidence what state are you in and how did you get it in front of the court (played back to GAL, judge's chambers, primary evidence)? I am currently seeking full custody of my S11 and would like to use recordings of my conversations with my son and of things said by NJ during drop-offs. Are these recordings permissible and to what extent?
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Re: What are the evidence rules for voice recordings?

Postby nighthawk » Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:43 am

You will need to tell us what state you are in, we will need to research and see what the laws are there. which is what you should have did first! :D
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Re: What are the evidence rules for voice recordings?

Postby cynicalDad » Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:48 am

Court case is West Virginia. I live in Maryland. Drop-offs are conducted in Maryland. I am not recording telephone calls just conversations.
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Re: What are the evidence rules for voice recordings?

Postby Outis » Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:49 am

cynicalDad wrote:Court case is West Virginia. I live in Maryland. Drop-offs are conducted in Maryland. I am not recording telephone calls just conversations.

Conversations in person? If so, go to your local Starbucks. There's no expectation of privacy in a public place :wink:
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Re: What are the evidence rules for voice recordings?

Postby cynicalDad » Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:57 am

Yes, I know I am not doing anything illegal. Just wanted to know to what extent voice recordings of personal conversations that I am part of could be used in court.
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Re: What are the evidence rules for voice recordings?

Postby nighthawk » Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:12 am

You are under the same law as me, If you are a part of the conversation, you are with in your rights. But, it's not if you are legal as much as it is, how important it is.
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Re: What are the evidence rules for voice recordings?

Postby Alfee2011 » Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:58 pm

Does anyone know the law in Massachusetts ? Hopefully it is the same as the last poster - If so I'm good !!
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Re: What are the evidence rules for voice recordings?

Postby cynicalDad » Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:58 pm

FYI, in my particular case the judge of the family court exercises a large amount of latitude in the pre-trial hearing and can (if he/she so desires) choose to review recordings in his/her chambers if they concern the health/well-being of the child. These can be introduced "off the record" in order to establish a basis for the petition. This was in a "modification" trial not an original divorce trial, YMMV. If you don't mind telling your child you are recording him/her that is also within your right as a parent but I'd imagine you'd have to tread a thin line. Also I think having audio evidence of this kind is useful to use with counselors, GALs, etc. who may only be looking at this thing from a standpoint of what's in the child's interest and not what is legally permissible in court. Not telling anyone to do anything illegal, I'm just saying at the end of the day evidence is evidence and the sheer fact that your opponent would try to get evidence thrown out kind of implies a little bit of "trying to hide" something from their side.
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Re: What are the evidence rules for voice recordings?

Postby hoosier_dad » Mon Apr 11, 2011 2:04 pm

Alfee2011 wrote:Does anyone know the law in Massachusetts ? Hopefully it is the same as the last poster - If so I'm good !!


12 states require, under most circumstances, the consent of all parties to a conversation. Those jurisdictions are California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Washington.
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Re: What are the evidence rules for voice recordings?

Postby Fatheroffour » Mon Apr 11, 2011 2:14 pm

I'm just saying at the end of the day evidence is evidence and the sheer fact that your opponent would try to get evidence thrown out kind of implies a little bit of "trying to hide" something from their side.


I disagree.

You know how easily manipulatable children are and how easily a conversation that shed one parent in a good light would be to manufacture.

That's what GAL's and CE's are for. I would object strongly to any such recordings trying to be introduced by the other side.

Any professional worthy of their title would be extremely suspect of any such recordings.
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