Many people, especially those going through a divorce, for a variety of reasons believe it’s necessary to record conversations. However, what people don’t know is that they could be committing a crime by recording a conversation. Civil remedies are also available to a victim of eavesdropping.
The Illinois Eavesdropping Act (the “Act”) was originally enacted to protect communications that individuals intended to be private, like a conversation between divorcing spouses about a dispute they were having. Confusion occurred in enforcing the Act with how to interpret what a party’s intent was and whether the communication was “private.”
Due to that confusion, the Act was amended so that all parties would need consent to record their conversations, regardless of whether there was any intent to keep the conversation private. The United State’s Supreme Court found that amendment to be unconstitutional, so the Act was amended again.
The Act now provides that a person violates the Act by knowingly and intentionally using an eavesdropping device (anything that can be used to hear or record oral conversations) to overhear, transmit or record any private conversation-regardless of whether he or she is a party to the conversation-unless done with the consent of all parties.
If you don’t get consent, in addition to potential criminal sanctions, the conversation you record will also be inadmissible as evidence in your case. The lesson is simple-get consent, and if you don’t have it, don’t record the conversation.
Take advantage of the experience we have in family law matters and call Nicholas J. Galasso now at 630-949-2061 or access our website at www.GalassoPC.com and schedule a free consultation.