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I want to submit a recording that I took of a doctor, without his knowledge, to the Sate Medical board?

Pleasanton, CA |

What are the ramifications for doing this? I'm reporting the doctor for severe negligence that will leave me sick for the rest of my life and this tape backs up my claims.

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Attorney answers 4


Covert audio taping of a private conversation in California can subject you to criminal prosecution as well as civil liability. Further, most courts and State licensing agencies will not admit "evidence" obtained in violation of California's statute prohibiting covert taping. You definitely ned to speak to a qualified and experienced lawyer before you take any action with respect to the tape you have made.

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I recently received a call from a hospital and asked if I could record the call, said it many many times and the woman said yes yes yes and that she could hear the machine which she couldn't because there was no machine I was just using a computer calling was recording... point being she knew ... it is legal correct???

Christine C McCall

Christine C McCall


Even where it can be reasoned that recording a call is unlikely to subject you to criminal prosecution or civil liability, as in the facts you have summarized, the recording will not ordinarily be admissible as evidence in any action against the person recorded unless the recording is authenticated by the standards of the CA Evidence Code. Authentication rests on a greater showing than knowledge or consent, and is likely to be challenging in the circumstances you describe. As your attorney in your med mal case will tell you, this tape is unlikely to be of the evidentiary importance that you anticipate. In all events, you should not assume that it is sufficient to establish any elements of your claim.



I think you are merging the Asker and me the Anonymous person's comment together. Me Anonymous recorded a call after asking the person if it was ok with her several time and reminding her throughout the conversation and then at the end stating it was recorded and that she said it was ok and she acknowledge again and said she heard the machine....I wanted the recording because the hospital keeps calling me with stupid comments and they saying have we answered your questions when indeed my concern has nothing to do with their conversation but is involved and written to the hosptial and doc, plus now there is a hipaa issue....short of having the person push the record button herself I can't imagine whatelse would be needed to should consent.... I was trying to have record of the ridiculous call and harassment...


Have you contacted an attorney regarding this? Doctor's negligence is a serious thing. You could be reimbursed for all this.

Legal disclaimer: This is just my opinion and not a comprehensive answer. You assume the risk because this answer may not apply to your situation depending on the facts.


Under some State's laws, unconsented recording of conversations constitutes a crime. I am not a California attorney, but a simple Internet search seems to indicate that CA is such a 2 party consent state. You should seek the advice of a qualified medical malpractice attorney.

Of course, this is not meant as legal advice nor does it establish any professional relationship.


Tape recording someone without their permission or knowledge is a misdemeanor in California.

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