Is a recorded conversation allowed as evidence in court? 22 Answers as of May 31, 2013

Can a tape recorded conversation be used as evidence if one of the parties did not know he or she was being recorded? Also, what step should you take if you are being sued and the law suit is not legitimate and the other party has indicated that he or she will make you spend tens of thousands of dollars just to defend your case?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
West law Office
West law Office | Russell West
In many states recording someone without their knowledge is against the law. You need to check your state law. You could probably just google some keywords and find out.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 11/23/2011
Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
Verbal recordings in Florida without the person's consent are illegal so if you recorded someone without their knowledge you do not want to try to have it admitted in court unless you want the judge to call for a deputy to take you away!
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 11/21/2011
The Law Offices of Paul A. Samakow, P.C.
The Law Offices of Paul A. Samakow, P.C. | Paul A. Samakow
No, a taped conversation is not admissible unless the party being taped consented to the taping. Regarding your next question, a lawsuit that is filed against you must be defended, or you risk a judgment being taken and thereafter assets of yours being seized or taken to satisfy the judgment. If, as you say, the lawsuit is not "legitimate", and by this I take it you mean that the suit has no merit, then you should win.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 11/18/2011
Law Office of Joshua Pond | Joshua Pond
The first thing you need to do is find an attorney. It is true that, if you do not know the right moves to take, you could end up spending a great deal to defend yourself against even the most frivolous of cases. Call and consult with a qualified attorney in your area today to discuss your options. To answer your first question, about the recordings, let me answer simply by saying, it depends. It depends on the setting and who was doing the recording and why. In the vast majority of cases, such a recording would be considered hearsay and would not be admissible in court. As to your second question, if the suit is truly frivolous, then you can move to dismiss it on several grounds and/or counter claim for malicious prosecution or filing a frivolous claim. It sounds like you have several options, but you need to play your cards just right. Call and consult with an attorney today.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 11/18/2011
Law Firm of Martin & Wallentine
Law Firm of Martin & Wallentine | Richard Martin
Kansas allows the recording of a conversation so long as ONE of the parties to the conversation was aware it was being recorded. However, there may be other grounds for excluding the evidence under the applicable rules of evidence. To be sure, the rules of evidence are highly technical and complicated. As far as the merits of the case itself, it might be possible to prevent the case from proceeding to trial by means of a dispositive motion, such as a motion to dismiss or a motion for summary judgment. Consult a trial attorney immediately to assess your case.
Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 11/18/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    If you are a party to the conversation, then you may record it in NY and it is admissable against the other party in order to impeach their testimony during a trial. As for someone who is suing you in order to make you spend money to defend yourself, they can do that, but if it is abusive in nature, then you may seek damages against them for forcing that upon you - if their case was baseless and only brought on to harrass you. Speak to your defense lawyer about the matter. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/18/2011
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    It depends on how the tape was made, where it was recorded and who is offering it as evidence. If a judge allowed it, then you are the subject of a criminal investigation and prosecution. Stop talking to anyone about anything related to your actions, thoughts or plans. Never ignore court papers. Call your insurance agent or get your own attorney and answer the allegations and request a jury trial if you haven't done anything wrong.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 11/18/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    The purpose of a lawsuit is to determine the truth. If you have to pay a lawyer to help you you need to do that. Trial s were designed hundreds of years ago to keep people from fighting in the street. It is not a perfect system but I believe Churchill said it is better than the others. Don't know about your tape. Need a lot more information.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 11/18/2011
    Downriver Injury and Auto Law | Michael Heilmann
    There any many ways a recording may be used in Court. There is no blanket rule. An illegtimate suit can be dismissed on motion.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/18/2011
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    No.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/31/2013
    Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers
    Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers | Andrew D. Myers
    Your posting indicates that a law suit is "not legitimate". I highly recommend that you consult with an attorney because there is a New Hampshire statute that allows for an award of fees and costs where litigation is deemed to be "frivolous". But, the facts need to be thoroughly reviewed to determine whether this applies in your case. If the lawsuit is deemed to have been brought in good faith, then the statute will not apply. Also, it is a felony to record a conversation without the other person's knowledge. Otherwise, with the proper authentication and other evidentiary foundation, such recordings of conversations are used in court.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 11/18/2011
    Lombardi Law Firm
    Lombardi Law Firm | Steve Lombardi
    The answer to this question depends on several facts not mentioned so my answer is purposefully vague. Generally in Iowa, so long as one party to a conversation agrees for it to be recorded you can record a conversation with two or more people. What you can't do is set the recorder up to secretly record a conversation in which you aren't a party to. I can't secretly set up a recorder in an office, go to lunch and record conversations to which I'm not a party. If you have the consent of a person engaged in the conversation then it's permissible in some instances. I say in some instances because there is a recent story about a man being prosecuted in Illinois for secretly recording government officials and the police. Whether I agree with that law is not relevant, it appears to be the law in Illinois. In Iowa I have not researched that point so I offer no legal opinion on the matter. Is the lawsuit legitimate? Well, that depends on who you talk to. You assume it's not legitimate, but perhaps you aren't correct. I say that because you can't possibly know the law when you're not a lawyer or a judge. People think anytime they are sued that the case isn't legitimate, but those on the other side would disagree. And there are many instances where someone claimed they were sued in a 'bogus' case, but end up with a judgement against them. Emotions aside, this is America and our legal system is pretty open to many types of claims to which you and I may agree to disagree on whether or not public policy should allow such a suit, but they are still legitimate under the current state of the law. If you surreptitiously recorded a conversation turn it over to your lawyer and let the lawyers decide if what you have is valuable or worthless (illegal?) evidence. Better yet, before you record the conversations ask your lawyer if what you want to do is going to get you in trouble.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 11/18/2011
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson | Michael E. Hendrickson
    1. Under most circumstances where the other party did not know that he or she was being recorded, the court is unlikely to permit it to be admitted into evidence. 2. Hire an attorney to defend you once your're served with papers in the lawsuit.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 11/18/2011
    David Hoines Law
    David Hoines Law | David Hoines
    It is a crime in Fla to record a telephone conversation secretly; regarding defending the lawsuit, you need a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/18/2011
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C. | Robert Kelly
    Washington law in general requires the consent of all parties to a conversation before recording. RCW 9.73.030. (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=9.73&full=true#9.73.030). If you are being victimized by a frivolous lawsuit, there may be ways to make the other side pay your attorney's fees and costs. You should call a lawyer to discuss the particular details.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/18/2011
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    In California it is illegal to tape record someone without their knowledge. In that circumstance, the tape likely cannot be used. If the person finds out you surreptitiously recorded them, they can turn you in to the police and you can be prosecuted. As to the threats, document them every time they are made and threaten malicious prosecution and abuse of process. If you have counsel, he or she can protect you in this regard.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/18/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    A tape recording is admissible if one of the parties okayed it or there was a lawful wiretap. As for making you spend money to defend yourself, yes, that could happen.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/18/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Frivolous actions can result in some severe sanctions. A recorded conversation , under the circumstances you assert may not be admissible, it is in fact may be a violation of the law. You need to hire counsel.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/18/2011
    Eftekhari Law Offices
    Eftekhari Law Offices | Ehsan Eftekhari
    It is not admissible and in fact it is illegal ($10,000 and 3 years in jail). You may have a right to sue him or her under several theories.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 11/17/2011
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney