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In WA state is it okay to record a conversation without a person's knowledge?

Seattle, WA |

SEATTLE LAW: is it legal to tape someone without their knowledge as long as one party involved in the conversation consents? In other words, can someone tape a conversation with someone else as long as one of the parties knows about the taping?

I am disabled, age 59 and resident of a non-profit age 55 plus apartment building. I believe they receive HUD funding. I am on Section 8 and SSI.

The building live-in Manager yells at me, cuts me off, walks away during the business day in the course of me trying to explain myself concerning my rent or other concerns.

I have written a detailed letter to the Board of Directors which was disregarded by the Executivce Director.

Another abusive episode has happened recently, which causes me much emotional duress.

I would like to secretly record interactions with this manager (video)to prove my point. All I want is to be treated decently like everyone else.

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Attorney answers 2


RCW 9.73.030 (Intercepting, recording, or divulging private communication – Consent required – Exceptions) provides:

(1) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, it shall be unlawful for any individual, partnership, corporation, association, or the state of Washington, its agencies, and political subdivisions to intercept, or record any:
(b) Private conversation, by any device electronic or otherwise designed to record or transmit such conversation regardless how the device is powered or actuated without first obtaining the consent of all the persons engaged in the conversation.


The statutes are here: .

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

You may want to review your facts and options with an attorney.

If you are receiving public assistance, your case managers may be able to help you.


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

See my Legal Guide Recording Conversations in Illinois

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.

Good luck to you.

Again, check with a lawyer in your locale.

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