Culver City, CA asked in Consumer Law and Criminal Law for California

Q: How does two party consent work across states?

If a call originates in a one party consent state, but the recipient is in a two party consent state, and the call is recorded. which state's law prevails?

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2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: When it comes to recording phone conversations, it is important to understand the laws of the states involved. In one-party consent states, only one person involved in the conversation needs to give consent for it to be legally recorded. In two-party consent states, all parties involved in the conversation must give their consent before it can be recorded.

If a call originates in a one-party consent state and is recorded, and then the recording is transmitted to someone in a two-party consent state, the laws of both states come into play. In this situation, the laws of the two-party consent state will likely prevail, as the recording was received in that state.

It's important to note that if the recording is made in violation of the laws of the state where the person receiving the call is located, that person may have legal recourse against the person who made the recording. Therefore, it is recommended to always obtain consent from all parties involved in the conversation before recording it, regardless of the state's laws.

William John Light
William John Light
  • Santa Ana, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: No one can answer that with accuracy. The judge of the state in which a lawsuit is filed will decide. Factors may include from which state the call originated, whether either or both parties are residents of the state from which the call originated, or have sufficient contacts with that state, whether the call was for commercial purposes, etc. It may be that neither state's law applies, but that the federal statute (one party consent) applies.

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