Thursday, July 31, 2008

A complicated question with a simple answer ...

Received posted to the wrong section this morning:

* Suppose to be posted to RECORDING PHONE CALLS reference *

Can you provide some insight please?

Brief overview: Abusive (physical, emotional, psychological) marriage ended. Ex continued abuse via threats, harassment, etc. PFA obtained; ex violated it; did not renew. Ex continued abuse and attempts to control through outrageous court battles r/t custody of children. We were then ordered to engage in weekly phone calls to discuss kids. Ex used calls to further degrade, verbally abuse, threaten, etc. Ex informed during one call that if the abuse did not stop, I would have to record calls. Ex laughed; said you can't without my permission(he has since married someone that works for a law firm) My attempt to prove his continued abuse and request that I not have to participate in the court ordered phone calls all failed. My attorney states PA has some of the strictest laws regarding recording messages and that if done, I would be charged with a felony. Is there any way to legally prove that all oral communication between he and I involves his threatening, terrorizing, degrading, etc? This is insane; no reason to put a PFA in place...he just violates them. No way to prove he is harassing, threatening during oral communication...the courts protect fact, he was doing it with the court's blessing when it became a court ordered weekly phone call

Pennsylvania DOES have a very strict recording law.

Contained in my reference is this note:


Pennsylvania requires the consent of all parties. (A 2 PARTY STATE)

Pennsylvania Constitution Statute Section 5704(4) with the following exception: any individual may record a phone conversation without the other party's consent if:

The non-consenting party threatens the life or physical well being of the consenting party, or any member of his/her family.

The non-consenting party commits any criminal action (the statute specifically uses the example of telling the consenting party that they have marijuana they want the consenter to buy, but does state ANY criminal act).

Felony penalties may be imposed for violation of the Pennsylvania statute.

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