Can I press charges/sue someone for recording me without my consent?

I know mine is a 2-party consent state. I was talking to my neighbors last week and one of them secretly recorded our conversation. I know this information because a different neighbor told me that the first mentioned neighbors played the audio recording for her. They did not ask for my consent nor did I have any knowledge of this recording prior to today. What are my legal rights in this situation? How can I make them delete the recording and any copies? Can I press charges or take them to court?

Asked on June 21, 2016 under Personal Injury, California


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Assuming that the issue of proof can be met, you can bring both criminal and civil actions to bear in this case. To illegally record someone without their consent is a crime in CA, as well as a personal injury for which you can sue for money damages. That having been said, where did this conversaron take place? The fact is that if you were recorded in a public or semi-public place like a street or restaurant, then you would be probably be deemed to not have had a "reasonable expectation of privacy" (i.e. that no one was listening in or overheared the conversation). At this point, you should consult directly with an attorney in your area. After you go over all of the details of your case, they can best advise you further. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.