Culver City, CA asked in Criminal Law, Civil Rights and Landlord - Tenant for California

Q: If I have a private conversation and the other party has another person listening without my consent? Does that apply632

I was having a heated conversation with my landlord over the phone. I was then placed on speaker phone and told it was for her safety and not to worry because there was no one else in the room.

I think the landlord place my phone call on speaker because she had her supervisor easedropping on my phone call with another phone. The next day the supervisor sent me an email assuming she was aware of our conversation. Does that apply to penal code 632

1 Lawyer Answer
Doug  Van Breemen
Doug Van Breemen PRO label
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Rocklin, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Generally, unless you consent, a 3rd party cannot listen to a private phone call. Since your landlord told you the communication was private, you had a reasonable belief that nobody else could hear your conversation. So, yes, technically this would be Eavesdropping in violation of PC 632. This can be a felony or a misdemeanor (a wobbler). Proving this is another matter. It seems unclear if the supervisor actually heard your call with the landlord, or was told about it later. In any event, you should consider contacting your local law enforcement agency and make a report. As an aside, your landlord is forbidden from using any communications they obtained in violation of the eavesdropping statute, for example in any landlord tenant dispute.

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