Is video recording acceptable evidence in court?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Is video recording acceptable evidence in court?

If I were to tape a person with a spy pen/hidden camera confessing/admitting that he owes me money and have not paid yet because original contract was lost during the move. Would that be an acceptable evidence in court if person still tries to escape the payment? In IL.

Asked on November 20, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Illinois

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In order for an audio tape to be admitted in court it would have had to have been legally obtained. And IL is what is known as an "all party consent" state. This means that all parties to a conversation must consent to it's recording; the person doing the recording must be a party to the conversation and everyone else being recorded must consent.  

This is true unless there is no expectation of privacy.  In other words, was the conversation considered to be private or not? In-person conversations are not necessarily private. As a general rule, such conversations that can be naturally overheard (i.e. without use of any special devices) are not considered private communications. So where you record matters. If it's in someone's home or office all people being recorded must agree to it; if it's a restaurant or other open area than consent is not needed.

Failure to obtain unanimous consent can result in both civil and criminal liability.

Note: The above is the law for both in-person and telephone communications, except that all telephone conversations are deemed to be private do there is always an expectation of privacy and consent must be obtained.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption