Written by attorney Alan James Brinkmeier

Recording Conversations in Illinois Requires Consent

Twelve states, including Illinois, require the consent of every party to a phone call or conversation in order to make the recording lawful. Because Illinois has a minority view on this topic (38 states have a one party consent rule) this guide is a short collection of conversation recording rules. 1 Wiretapping is all Party Consent Illinois's wiretapping law is a "two-party consent" law. Illinois makes it a crime to use an "eavesdropping device" to overhear or record a phone call or conversation without the consent of all parties to the conversation. Warrants to obtain wiretaps are needed to meet the applicable criminal standard, as well. 2 Court Hearings State trial courts in Illinois prohibit the use of audio and video recording devices except by an order of the Illinois Supreme Court. This prohibiting provision has been deemed constitutional. Court hearings include criminal and civil pre-trial matters, civil and criminal trials and post-trial matters as well. 3 Public Meetings Illinois has an Open Meetings Act to attempt to achieve transparency in government. The Act states "any person may record the proceedings at meetings required to be open by this Act by tape, film or other means." The statute does place a limitation, however, and says that the authority holding the meeting shall make "reasonable rules to govern the right to make such recording". It is this provision that has been the most litigated. To check on a particular meeting, legal counsel to research the details is necessary.

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