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Can a recorded conversation be used against you in court without your permission or knowledge?

Frankfort, KY |

I was drinking one night, I know it is not right, but got into the car of my fiance's ex/ She was recording me on a hand-held recorder. I asked if she was recording the conversation when she stated "No" Now she is threatening my fiance that if he does not leave me she will take my recorded conversation into court and use it to gain full custody of their daughter. I am just wanting to know what rights we had. If it was legal for her to use that recording without my permission without having knowledge that I was being recorded. What can I do???

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Attorney answers 3


In general, the Electronic Surveillance Statutes of most states will allow the recording of your own conversations. If KY allows this under their statute, and she and you were the parties whose conversation was being recorded, the conversation could then be legally recorded by her. A seperate issue is whether the recording could be introduced as evidence in any particular hearing. These are issues that would need to be discussed in detail with your lawyer, or a lawyer who is admitted to practice law in KY and who is familiar with the wiretap statute. Good luck.

This information is offered for informational purposes only, as I do not practice law in your State. It is not intended as legal advice and you should not rely upon it to decide how to resolve this issue. No Attorney-Client relationship is intended or established by this response. You are faced with a situation where you need to consult with an experienced defense lawyer admitted to practice law in your State before you make any decisions as to how to resolve this issue.


Kentucky is a "one party" state. That means that as long as one party to the conversation knows it is being recorded, it is OK. In your case, of course, you could see the recorder so you had reason to believe that it was being recorded (even if she denied it).

Whether the contents of the tape are relevant to the issue to be decided in court is an entirely separate matter. Even if it comes into evidence as "relevant," the judge can decide to give it little or no weight due to the circumstances.

You should make sure that your fiancee's lawyer knows all about this and knows, to the best of your recollection, what you said on the tape.


Kentucky is a "one-party" state, meaning that to be admissable as evidence in a court, only one party to a conversation needs to know of the audio recording - and that can be the person doing the recording. I agree with the wise observations of Mr. Bailey and Mr. Davis. The judge will determine if the recording is relevant and admissible.

Check with a lawyer in your locale to discuss more of the details.

Good luck to you.

God bless.

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