Recording A Spouse To Prove Adultery
By Lance Dutton of Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor
Adultery is a difficult topic and is something that can be a great burden on a household.
Spouses that suspect adultery often attempt to catch their significant other in the act to use as evidence during a divorce. The laws regarding privacy and the use of video and audio recording devices have recently become stricter, so it’s important to understand where the legal boundaries lie in regards to recording.
A once black and white area has more recently turned grey, and that is the attempt to catch someone in the act of adultery. Attempting to catch someone oftentimes borders invasion of privacy. It is important to know the facts surrounding privacy protections, so here are some facts about what is and isn’t allowed:
Felony: It is a felony to set up a camera inside your home and record video without the consent of all parties being observed.
Felony: It is a felony to audio record a conversation that you are not a participant in.
Grey Area: For private investigators, anything surrounding private property is tricky. You cannot record on private property or anywhere privacy is expected (hotel rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms).
Okay: Private investigators are okay if they operate in public.
Okay: It is legal to audio record conversations you are apart of without the consent of other parties involved.
There are quite a few grey areas and it is always best to ensure you do not overstep the boundaries of someone else’s rights. It is not advised for you to record anything in the home or upon private property. Violating privacy laws could result in a felony and carries a penalty of imprisonment between one and five years or a fine of up to $10,000.