Recording Another Person in the State of Florida

Is it legal to record another person in the state of Florida without their consent? As always, with any law, everything is grey. For the most part, this is not a practice I would engage in. Recording someone without their consent, if done improperly, is actually a crime in the state of Florida. Florida statutes prohibit the use of recorded communications obtained without the consent of both parties involved, and case law is clear that such unlawful recordings are not admissible in hearings involving domestic relations. Different states, do allow this, however, so don’t be confused. Just because one state allows it doesn’t mean that Florida will. When judging whether a recording is allowed, the court will look to “an expectation of privacy.” This has been defined as “an expectation of privacy does not contemplate merely a subjective expectation on the part of the person making the uttered oral communication, but rather contemplates a reasonable expectation of privacy.

A reasonable expectation of privacy under a given set of circumstances depends upon one’s actual subjective expectation of privacy as well as whether society is prepared to recognize this expectation as reasonable.” It cannot be disputed that in Florida, it is unlawful to record a telephonic communication without the consent of both parties. This statute specifically prohibits the court from admitting such a recording into evidence (934.03), “Whenever any wire or oral communication has been intercepted, no part of the contents of such communication and no evidence derived therefrom may be received in evidence in any trial, hearing, or other proceeding in or before any court, grand jury, department, officer, agency, regulatory body, legislative committee, or other authority of the state, or a political subdivision thereof, if the disclosure of that information would be in violation of this chapter.”

There is also controlling case on point, the Markham case, wherein the Florida Supreme Court specifically ruled that a recording made without the recorded party’s consent is not admissible or properly admitted in domestic relation proceedings. The Florida Supreme Court held, “The subject statute does not provide that a subscriber-husband is permitted to wiretap. It stated unequivocally that ‘when none of the parties to the communication has consented,’ such interception should be allowed only upon a court’s order. The cited Florida constitutional provisions shores up the conclusion that a husband does not possess the right to invade his wife’s right of privacy by utilizing electronic devices.” When deciding whether to record somebody, consult an attorney! There are ways this can be done and it is very advantageous in a case. Just be careful.

Kenny Leigh and Associates is a law firm that exclusively represents men and specializes in divorce in the state of Florida. There are nine offices to serve you.

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