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Monday, September 12, 2005

Got your tape recorder ready? Get this.

Just a little FYI concerning taping conversations, whether phone or in-person.  If you are NOT associated with law enforcement, “one-party consent” is the rule in 38 states and the District of Columbia. Twelve states require all parties to a conversation to give their consent to taping.  Google the requirements for your situation to be sure, but here’s a rough outline from The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. (Yeh, I think “reporters” in the site’s title ought to be “reporters’ ” but who am I to correct the usage of so august a group?  Heh)


Alabama - One Party
Alaska - One Party
Arkansas - One Party
California - All Party
Colorado - One Party
Connecticut - All Party
Delaware - All Party
District of Columbia - One Party
Florida - All Party
Georgia - One Party
Hawaii - One Party
Idaho - One Party
Illinois - All Party
Indiana - One Party
Iowa - One Party
Kansas - One Party
Kentucky - One Party
Louisiana - One Party
Maine - One Party
Maryland - All Party
Massachusetts - All Party
Michigan - All Party
Minnesota - One Party
Mississippi - One Party
Missouri - One Party
Montana - All Party
Nebraska - One Party
Nevada - One Party
New Hampshire - All Party
New Jersey - One Party
New Mexico - One Party
New York - One Party
North Carolina - One Party
North Dakota - One Party
Ohio - One Party
Oklahoma - One Party
Oregon - One Party
Pennsylvania - All Party
Rhode Island - One Party
South Carolina - One Party
South Dakota - One Party
Tennessee - One Party
Texas - One Party
Utah - One Party
Vermont - One Party
Virginia - One Party
Washington - All Party
West Virginia - One Party
Wisconsin - One Party
Wyoming - One  Party

"Regardless of the state, it is almost always illegal to record a conversation to which you are not a party, do not have consent to tape, and could not naturally overhear."