Is it ok to tape record any conversations in a busy resturaunt?

Asked about 5 years ago - Seattle, WA

Isn't there an exception where if there is no expectation of privacy, it's ok? Or if you had a tape recorder on, would you have to announce to everybody in a earshot radius of you that you were recording? The resturaunt also has cameras recording 24/7.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Nancy Baum Delain

    Contributor Level 12

    Answered . Only if you are an active participant in a conversation may you record without notice to the people whose conversations you are recording. Otherwise, there IS an expectation of privacy, even in a public venue like a restaurant, and you may be liable for lawsuit if you record without notice.

    Surveillance cameras are recognized and expected and they are usually not hidden; this provides at least constructive notice of the recording (also, sound is rarely recorded on surveillance cameras). This is a very, very different situation from clandestine sound recordings.

    THE INFORMATION PRESENTED HERE IS GENERAL IN NATURE AND IS NOT INTENDED, NOR SHOULD IT BE CONSTRUED, AS LEGAL ADVICE. THIS POSTING DOES NOT CREATE ANY ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN US. FOR SPECIFIC ADVICE ABOUT YOUR PARTICULAR SITUATION, CONSULT YOUR ATTORNEY.

  2. Alan James Brinkmeier

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . I believe Washington like Illinois and California's laws prohibits the recording of communications unless all parties to the conversation consent.

    See my Legal Guide Recording Conversations in Illinois

    http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/recording-...

    You need a lawyer because I do not practice in WA (I am in Chicago, IL). Check with a lawyer in your locale to discuss more of the details. Twelve states like Illinois require all party consent to record.

    The statutes are at this link: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=9.73 .

    Violators can end up in jail. See RCW 9.73.080 (Penalties).

    Good luck to you.

    Again, check with a lawyer in your locale.

    NOTE: This answer is made available by the out-of-state lawyer for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you understand that there is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state with whom you have established an attorney client relationship and all the privileges that relationship provides. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question.

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