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  • Question about recording conversations

    Ok, I need some help. Here's the whole story.

    Someone on our hall in our dorm, drew a large penis and balls in shaving cream on the wall. (it wasn't me) Nobody would admit to doing it, and the prefects (seniors who look after each hall) and our hall master (a faculty member) all gave us several chances to admit to who it was. No one came forward, so as punishment, we all go to bed at 10:15 as opposed to the usual time of 11:00 every night until someone admits to it. Last night was the first night of punishment for us.

    It happened a few days ago, and we've all been talking about it, trying to figure out who did it. There is a boy on our hall who is already on probation for fighting, and skips classes. While everybody else was arguing trying to figure out who did it, he was the only one telling everyone to just drop it since the person obviously wasn't going to come forward. When we asked his roommate about whether he had said anything because the kid shares everything with his roommate, the roommate tells us he won't tell us "a ****ing thing." When confronted with the issue, he usually tried to drop or change the conversation. He was one of only 5 people or so who was actually on campus that night. (and the drawing was done early in the morning, like 2 a.m. sunday morning, and everyone must stay on their halls after 11:00 p.m.) so he must have been on the hall, and he was because several eyewitnesses saw him.

    Last night, a friend and I planted a small dictophone in their room to try and capture their conversation, because they always talk about stuff at night. Sure enough, on the tape, is the roommate asking the kid if he "drew the penis" and the kid responding "yes, i did." The roommate asks the kid if he's going to confess and then the audio is lost as they begin arguing.

    Was my friend and I legally justified in planting the dictophone, and, legally, could the evidence taped on the dictophone be used in a court of law. Also, all of the prefects listened to the tape, and they agree that his is the voice that is heard on the tape.

    I need to know the legality of it, because he is taking this to the dean of students to try and get the taped banned (which i'm hoping it isn't) and then turn the tide and get me in trouble for what he calls "a class c misdemeanor" for taping his conversation. All you law experts out there, your help would be greatly appreciated!!!!!


    Tex
    KD5HQD

    [ 11-07-2001: Message edited by: kd5hqd ]

    [ 11-07-2001: Message edited by: kd5hqd ]

  • #2
    As far as I understand you just broke federal and possibly state laws. In my state its illegal to record someone elses conversation without their knowledge. At least one person involved in the conversation must know they are being recorded. As such, as a cop I can record all my contacts with citizens and not tell them since I know were being recorded. But if I record a conversation between two citizens without my involvement and them knowing it the **** will hit the fan. You can get court orders allowing this.

    [ 11-07-2001: Message edited by: Zamboni ]

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    • #3
      In TX, you can record a conversation as long as one of the party being recorded is aware of the recording going on (ie. you can record your own conversations legally, even if the other person does not know you are recording). Since you were not part of the conversation, it would not be legal here in TX. Watch you butt on this one.
      "You have the right to remain silent. USE IT!!"

      "I wouldn't believe you if your tongue was notarized". Judge M. Milian

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      • #4
        It was either Niteshift or Don. They are both like that. I'm not lying this time.

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        • #5
          Kyle, I'm afraid you had better put on your wet suit, because you are in deep doo-doo up to your neck here. As was pointed out, you broke federal law, and probably state law. This doesn't look very good for you.

          Those of us that know you, know (more or less) how you think and what your personality is, can understand where you were coming from. But I think you done screwed the pooch big time on this one. I think you'd best be getting some legal advice here to try to CYA.

          Kyle here is one more bit of bad news. There is a chance, depending on how your state law reads, and how your dorm is set up, that you and your buddy may be charged with burglary as well. "Entering with intent to commit a crime," is one of the elements in burglary. The fact that you may not have known you were committing a crime is irrelevant.

          [ 11-07-2001: Message edited by: Don ]
          6P1 (retired)

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          • #6
            Don's dead on the money! Ya done stepped on it this time. But all is not lost, maybe! First things first, go talk the guy and apologize profusely, hopefully he will be cool and wont do anything about it.

            Now for the common sense part of this whole post! Dont ever do anything like that again, next time just take the heat and go bed, dont worry about losing 45 minutes a night, especially over a typical college prank. Stuff like that happens all the time on campuses all over the country, just dont sweat it. Shoot when I was in college an unknown *cough* individual super glued a 12 inch dildo to the hall monitors dorm room door one night cause the guy was a real putz, but thats another story all in itself.

            kyle I hope all of this works out for you.

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            • #7
              Oh, the guy is so not cool with it. His parents' friend is the head of the board of trustees and he emailed the dean of students. However, as it was not intended the way it seems, and school rules apply differently than laws here, as my dad put it, "they'll throw me out over his dead body." Looking back I realized I shouldn't have done it, but this guy is such a F***rag and he's already on probation, getting in trouble every day. It's just a matter of time before he's gone.


              Tex
              KD5HQD

              Comment


              • #8
                Well, nothing came of all of this. I think the guy was bluffing because I haven't been called into the dean's office yet. I think he realized that he had a lot more to lose than I did.


                Tex
                KD5HQD

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