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Recording telephone calls in pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA |
Filed under: Civil rights

My boyfriend got into an argument on the phone with a friend. It quickly became a heated dispute between them. My boyfriend ended up saying threatening statements such as he would smash this girls windows in her car and her house and to beat her friend warren up. Very the majority of the phone call, no one said anything about recording. Half way through the conversation on the phone, Warren, the person on the phone, made a comment that he was recording the phone conversation. He waited a very long time before he made it aware that he was recording. My boyfriend never actually gave them permission to record their conversation. He ignored them when they said they were recording because at that point he didn't care. The girl and Warren called the cops on my boyfriend and are..........

pressing charges for harassment and terroristic threats. They plan to use the recordings in court for evidence against my boyfriend. Is it going to be legal and proper evidence? I am aware of the 2-person consent law, but he never gave them actual permission and they didn't make the fact that they were recording the conversation until a good bit, more than half way through the conversation.

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Attorney answers 2


If someone records you without your consent, they can be liable to you for civil damages (of $100/day or $1000, whichever is greater), under the Pennsylvania Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Act.

If you are interested in pursuing a claim, you should contact an attorney.

Leo M. Mulvihill, Jr.
The Fishtown Lawyer
2424 E York St, Suite 316
Phila, Pa. 19125
215.385.LAW1 (5291)


In Pennsylvania, both parties must consent to recording.

The listener can testify as to the threats without the aid of the recording.

Your boyfriend should confer with counsel, in person, and not over the open internet--that is what got him in trouble to begin with.

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