Boston, MA asked in Contracts, Criminal Law and Real Estate Law for Rhode Island

Q: As to the recording voice and video does The State of Rhode Island require that all party's being recorded be informed?

One month after signing a lease I recorded a video with sound of my landlady in a rooming house in Warwick Rhode Island. She told me that she was writing new rules as an addendum to the lease and then I was excluded from parts of the house that were in the lease.

during that confrontation she told me that I'd better find a new place to live it wasn't gonna get any easier and shortly after starting making my life difficult although I agreed with her declaration that it was just a roaming house. I am in the middle of a "constructed(?) eviction. Can I use this recording in a court case?

1 Lawyer Answer
Nicholas Arthur Matlach
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  • Providence, RI
  • Licensed in Rhode Island

A: It sounds like you're in a very challenging situation, and I understand wanting to explore all options. Whether you can use the recording in a court case depends on a few factors:

- Rhode Island's Consent Laws: Rhode Island is a "one-party consent" state. This means you can legally record a conversation without the other person's knowledge or permission as long as you are a participant. RIGL § 11-35-21(c)(3).

- Relevance: The recording must be relevant to the specific case you're building (breach of lease, constructive eviction, etc.). Your landlord's statements could potentially help prove a pattern of harassment or that they were wrongfully modifying the lease. However, the terms of the lease and the content of the recording will be controlling as to whether it is relevant or not.

- Authentication: You may need to be able to prove the recording is genuine and unaltered. This could involve having an expert analyze it or providing testimony about when and how it was made.

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