Is it illegal to secretly record someone who is being bullied?

I go to a school where I often encounter the same 2 people trying to pick on random

people, including myself. The thing is, they’re very predictable and you know when they’re going to try and start something. Since this is in a high school, is it legal to secretly record what they do? From my understanding, my state has a 2-party recording law, so can a recording be presented as evidence to school officials/court if needed? If I tell them that theyre being recorded and they don’t consent but continue to bully/harass, do I have the right to continue recording?

Asked on November 29, 2018 under Personal Injury, California

Answers:

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

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Regardless of the reason (including bullying), in CA it is illegal to record a conversation unless all parties to it agree to its being recorded. That having been said, if there is no "expectation of privacy" then the recording a conversation without all of the parties consenting is legal. For example, if it occurs in a public place such as the lunchroom or hallway where the conversation is capable of being overheard by others.

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

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Regardless of the reason (including bullying), in CA it is illegal to record a conversation unless all parties to it agree to its being recorded. That having been said, if there is no "expectation of privacy" then the recording a conversation without all of the parties consenting is legal. For example, if it occurs in a public place such as the lunchroom or hallway where the conversation is capable of being overheard by others.


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