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Are conversation recordings permitted in court?

  • Fiona
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06 Apr 12 #322095 by Fiona
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The judge determines what evidence can be used. Rules are different for recording/taking photos in your own home. Even if the rules are broken transcripts of recordings may be used if it is pertinent and evidence of serious wrongdoing. However, the courts tend to accept that couples separating can say and do some daft things. Spying on and recording an ex-spouse partner can seriously backfire as it may be construed as unreasonable and controlling.



Sadie, in the particular case you are referring to I don''t think it was a case of believing one party''s evidence over the other. The facts were the poster had been married for a short time and owned her own property where she could live so there was no real reason for her to be in the former matrimonial home.

In cases like that the court not only considers the behaviour of the parties towards each other but also their housing needs, their financial resources and the likely effects of not making an order on the health and well being of the parties.

Sadly I did try to warn the poster that I thought it was a lost cause and the outcome of the case was no surprise to me.

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06 Apr 12 #322104 by Forseti
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When I was new to all this (about 10 years ago) I cleaned up some recordings for someone so he could use them in court. It took me a long time and it was very unpleasant work - they were just several hours of particularly vicious rows. It was a waste of my time and it didn''t help him at all.

Recordings can be stage-managed and they can be edited and manipulated to be misleading. Anything they are being used as evidence to prove needs to be backed up by other evidence.

Having said that, I know of occasions when recordings of interviews with CAFCASS and expert witnesses have been essential and decisive in cases.

  • Joe2020
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06 Apr 12 #322106 by Joe2020
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Sadie when you say you must notify someone first you are recording them, if they leave a message on your answer machine you cannot do that.
It would seem silly that you should prewarn them should they ever leave a message on your answer machine then to be careful as you may use them in court.

It seems to me if someone does knowingly leave a message on any kind of recording device then they should lose the right not to have this used in court.

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06 Apr 12 #322108 by Joe2020
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Fiona wrote:

The judge determines what evidence can be used. Rules are different for recording/taking photos in your own home. Even if the rules are broken transcripts of recordings may be used if it is pertinent and evidence of serious wrongdoing. However, the courts tend to accept that couples separating can say and do some daft things. Spying on and recording an ex-spouse partner can seriously backfire as it may be construed as unreasonable and controlling.


The problem with transcripts is that they do not prove what someone has actually said?A recording does.
Or can you get a solicitor to write a transcript based on what they heard in a recording and use this in court?
The Judge would then know for sure you are telling the truth.
The trouble with court hearings is that there are alot of accusations which are not presented with proof so therefore what is the Judge to believe.


In a specific case such as mine and my forthcoming contact hearing, would I be able to use a short recording of a message left on an answer machine to make a specific point or to prove a specific point?

I can see using a message taped on a dictaphone would be tricky as the other person would have been unaware they were being taped.

  • Emma8485
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07 Apr 12 #322120 by Emma8485
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Joe could you not put the content into your statement? Along the lines of "On XXX date a v-mail was left by my ex stating XXXX" - this avoids the need to use the recording itself?

Not sure if your statements have gone in yet!

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07 Apr 12 #322137 by Joe2020
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Statements haven''t gone in yet.

Problem is again to just include the content of a voice recording is just what you say happened and is not proof.

Voice recordings aren''t a huge issue for me.I just figured maybe I might use part content of one of her messages.

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