Is it illegal to set up a video only recording device to catch my wife in the act of adultery?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is it illegal to set up a video only recording device to catch my wife in the act of adultery?

I’m from Pennsylvania. Is it illegal to set up a video recording microphone
disabled device in my basement to catch my wife who I’m 100 sure is cheating
in the act? The only catch is that I allowed my friend to move into the basement
while he gets back on his feet and he has repaid me by starting to sleep with my
wife. I just want to know if I’m doing anything illegal if I own the home and
placed this video only recording device hidden in the basement to get evidence
for my divorce case.

Asked on November 16, 2016 under Family Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If you are allowing him to stay there, you can't put a camera in the space you've let him use: as a guest, he has a reasonable  expectation of privacy in the space you are letting him sleep/stay in and has a certain degree of possession or control over that space. He could likely sue you for filming him in this space. You could put a camera in other areas of the home (other than bathrooms), since he has no reasonable expectation of privacy in, or control over, those areas.

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.

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