Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Mel Gibson Case ...

About 70% of the traffic for this site centers around my recording phone call laws reference ...

An item of interest to me has been the recent Mel Gibson case where his "Mistress" girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva has apparently recorded multiple phone conversations between herself and Gibson and given them to the media.

From what I'm able to see from research, Grigorieva is a naturalized American citizen residing in Los Angeles, while Gibson is an American born (but Australian raised) U.S. Citizen who has residences in multiple states and countries but claims Malibu California as his primary residence.

This is the California law regarding telephone conversation recording ...


Although California is a two-party state, it is legal to record a conversation if you include a beep on the recorder and for the parties to hear. This information is included with California telephone bills:

California prohibits telephone monitoring or recording, including the use of information obtained through interception unless all parties to the conversation consent (California Penal Code Sections 631 & 632). There is no statutory business telephone exception and the relevant case law all but excludes this possibility. California courts have recognized "implied" consent as being sufficient to satisfy the statute where one party has expressly agreed to the taping and the other continues the conversation after having been informed that the call is being recorded. Violation is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500, imprisonment for not more than one year, or both. A civil plaintiff may recover the greater of $3,000 or three times the amount of any actual damages sustained.

While I can't be certain that Gibson has been informed he was being recorded, the recordings by Grigorieva may be illegal.

I should note that in no way do I condone or in any way admire his outlandish uncontrollable temper, but he still has a right to a private conversation if he so wishes.

Just because he's a public figure does not make his private conversations public.

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