1. Free Legal Help, Legal Forms and Lawyers. TheLaw.com has been providing free legal assistance online since 1995. Our most popular destinations for legal help are below. It only takes a minute to join our legal community!

    Dismiss Notice

I possible loophole to record audio for a custody battle

Discussion in 'Child Custody & Visitation' started by JamesDean123, Jan 20, 2021.

  1. JamesDean123

    JamesDean123 Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Jurisdiction:
    California
    My friend's "Lady"/Mother of his newborn has serious issues. Issues that could bring CPS into her life. She calls my friend and spends hours calling him names, telling him he's worthless etc.. She has two other children who are deathly afraid of her, so they will parrot anything she tells them to say. She's also smart enough to not put anything that will incriminate her on the phone, insisting that every time she calls my friend/business partner, he must talk to her outside/away from other people.

    While recording phone calls without both party's consent is illegal, I wonder if this can be a possible loophole. As the business owners, we have a security camera system with both audio/video. We have signs up everywhere stating that audio and video is being recorded on the premises. She is aware that we have audio/video recording on our cameras, and that when she's calling him, he is at work.

    If he were to talk to her on speaker phone under one of these cameras, since she knows that our cameras record audio, can we get away with recording that audio and using it from the security cameras without informing her that the conversation is being recorded?

    We want to use this audio to prove that she is an unfit mother and help him to get custody of his child. She's mentally abusive to the children she has, wants him to threaten them with physical harm as a method of punishment, while she laughs at them because they are getting in trouble, intentionally trying to demean them and make them feel worthless. One of her children is quite obviously high functioning autistic, but she refuses to get help for him, stating he's fine, when he's older and still wets the bed and has other habits that are not of a normal child. She also says that she can't properly take care of her son because he needs a man to raise him, and that because she "has a vagina", she needs my friend to step up and father her child (the one that is not his, and that needs help).
     
  2. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,753
    Likes Received:
    1,430
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Oh good lawd! Butt out!

    PS: The answer is no.
     
    leslie82 and justblue like this.
  3. JamesDean123

    JamesDean123 Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    He's my best friend and is aware I made this post.
     
  4. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,753
    Likes Received:
    1,430
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Great! Congratulations on your friendship! A true best friend is a wonderful thing to have. Now, be a true friend and BUTT OUT.
     
    leslie82 likes this.
  5. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,191
    Likes Received:
    1,036
    Trophy Points:
    113

    There is no "we" here. Don't involve yourself in your friend's mess other than to recommend he obtain legal counsel to advise him.
     
    hrforme and Zigner like this.
  6. JamesDean123

    JamesDean123 Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    A true friend offers his best friend a room to stay in rent free so he doesn't have to deal with that stuff. A true friend is someone he can lean on and help him filing all of the required court documents etc... so I'm being a true friend. As I said, he knows I'm posting this. She's telling him that he has to marry her, and if he doesn't, her two time felon brother will come beat his ass. She's threatening to take his kid from her if he leaves her. Thus is why I'm helping in every capacity because I don't want him to lose his kid over some pyscho chick who's taken it so far as to call our business landlord to try to tell him how bad of a person he is.. She intentionally trying to destroy our business. Thus is why we are trying every way we can to get as much evidence against her to give him access to his son while filing a restraining order against her and her family. California doesn't make it easy for men who aren't married to the mother of their child, and with the pandemic, they've made it near impossible to get his PoP letter etc...
     
  7. JamesDean123

    JamesDean123 Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    We are like brothers 15+ years. We are business partners and I do all of the legal filings for the business etc. He comes to me for advice and help because he trusts me, and knows that if I don't know the answer, I'll search it out. Attorneys are not cheap and with our business failing due to covid, we have no income. He can't even file the documents to give him partial legal custody because of all of the offices being closed. It's a cluster. They want him to mail his drivers license (not a copy, but the original) in with the paperwork to get his kids SS card so he can file to get partial custody. Before, he could simply walk into the court with his ID, fill out the appropriate paperwork and have it the same day. It's illegal to be driving without your drivers license in hand in CA. With his luck, he'll get pulled over a day after he mails it out. As I said, it's been a challenge.
     
  8. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,753
    Likes Received:
    1,430
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Yes.
    Yes
    If you are using "help" to mean you give him a lift to the court house, or even walk in and hand over the documents for filing, yes. If you are talking about giving your friend advice on what forms to use, how to fill out those forms, what strategy to use, etc., then no, that's not being a friend. That's practicing law without a license (a crime).
     
    shadowbunny, hrforme and justblue like this.
  9. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,753
    Likes Received:
    1,430
    Trophy Points:
    113

    He REALLY needs a lawyer. He doesn't need their social security card to file for custody.

    Please feel free to have your friend log on to ask his own questions.
     
    hrforme and justblue like this.
  10. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

    Messages:
    8,290
    Likes Received:
    2,340
    Trophy Points:
    113

    No.

    There must be an announcement at the beginning of the conversation so that the other party has knowledge of the recording.

    In fact, if your friend wants to put a stop to the harassment at work he can say the following (while on speaker so there is a record of the announcement) as soon as he identifies the caller:

    "This call is being recorded. If you do not wish to be recorded please hang up. If you continue the conversation you are consenting to the recording."

    If that doesn't shut her up he is free to record her diatribes.
     
  11. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

    Messages:
    32,655
    Likes Received:
    5,029
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Thank you so very much for posting your wonderful, heart-warming, honest revelations, and commentary on how you view friendship.

    You are entitled to be happy while marching to the beat of your own drum.

    I respect the fact that you like to march to the beat of your own drum.

    Be careful, because the following idiom comes to mind:

    The phrase "No good deed goes unpunished" is sardonic commentary on the frequency with which acts of kindness backfire on those who genuinely offer help to others.

    In other words, those who help others are often doomed to suffer as a result of their helpful attitude and kindness.
     
    Red Kayak, justblue and Zigner like this.
  12. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,278
    Likes Received:
    666
    Trophy Points:
    113

    NO. In California, he needs her actual consent to record that conversation. Without that consent the recording is not admissible in court and your friend might be criminally prosecuted for making that recording.

    Your friend really needs to discuss his issues with a family law attorney, including how to get the evidence he needs.


    This is not a "we" issue. You aren't a party to the dispute between mother and father of the child. I suggest you stay out of those issues, and certainly you should not be providing him legal advice.
     
    Zigner and justblue like this.
  13. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

    Messages:
    11,341
    Likes Received:
    1,955
    Trophy Points:
    113

    I suggest he not engage her in telephone calls. If she leaves recorded messages great, but don't enable her abuse by participating.
    When she demands to speak to him alone simply refuse.
    No, your loophole idea will not work.
    If there are grounds for a restraining order the court may approve recording of phone calls.
     
    army judge likes this.
  14. leslie82

    leslie82 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,825
    Likes Received:
    250
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Who are you in this situation? You should probably back off before you find yourself in legal trouble.
     
  15. leslie82

    leslie82 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,825
    Likes Received:
    250
    Trophy Points:
    83
    It doesn't matter. You legally have no say in anything. So if you want to get arrested for something criminal, go ahead. If you want to jeopardize your friend and his custody with his kids, go ahead. But if you are a true friend, you'll back off.
     
  16. leslie82

    leslie82 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,825
    Likes Received:
    250
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Again you legally have no say in this situation at all. He needs to find a lawyer. Start out with ones who offer free consultations and go from there. There are lawyers out there who will work with someone on payment.
     
  17. JamesDean123

    JamesDean123 Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    He paid a lawyer for consultation and she said he needed to do these things. Thus is why I'm trying to help him get the process moved along as well as any other way I can. The problem he is running into is many procedures are slowed to a crawl or stopped due to the pandemic.

    He's looked for every possible pro-bono option out there. He's ex Military 10.5 years and they have programs to help him, but those programs are all closed indefinitely. He needs to ask a single simple question to the courthouse, and when he calls, the phone number for information on the stuff he needs tells him to go to his local courthouse. His local courthouse is closed and says to call that number. It's just a giant looping mess.

    We own a business that's failing. He has had no income outside of EDD/Disability pay from the military, so he doesn't have money to pay a lawyer. As I said originally, simply doing some research to try to help find answers for him. There's nothing illegal about asking questions. I'm not personally going after his girl for the problems she's causing. I'm merely researching options for him and sharing with him what I've found. It's up to him to decide how to proceed.
     
  18. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

    Messages:
    11,341
    Likes Received:
    1,955
    Trophy Points:
    113

    His solution here is quite simple. Stop taking to her outside the presence of others. Do not answer the phone - allow her to leave messages if she chooses. If he must communicate with her do so in writing.
     
    Disabled Vet likes this.
  19. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

    Messages:
    32,655
    Likes Received:
    5,029
    Trophy Points:
    113

    If communication is difficult between a divorced couple, or a couple that was never married but did procreate, there are several software applications available to allow the former couple to communicate ONLY about legal matters that involve their children and financial obligations.

    You might suggest to your friend that he investigate these wonderful applications that will make everyone's life calmer, while allowing each person to communicate civilly.

    There are many others, this is merely a sample of what is available.

    By the way, courts all across this great nation endorse and support the use of these apps to avoid confrontations.

    Here are examples of co-parenting apps that come highly recommended by courts, family law, and divorce attorneys:

    https://www.wealthysinglemommy.com/best-co-parenting-apps/

    7 Best Co-Parenting Apps to Download After Divorce

    7 Co-Parenting Apps That Help Keep You Out of Court

    5 Best Co-parenting Apps

    The Best Co-parenting Apps Out There: Tools for Divorced Parents – SheKnows

    Struggling With Coparenting? Get Help from These 8 Apps - Myers Law Firm


    PS: By the way, one reason these apps work so well is because the court and your attorneys monitor these apps, plus there is no confusion regarding which person went off the rails and started an argument.

    Living in a fishbowl keeps everyone on the right track.
     
    shadowbunny and leslie82 like this.
  20. JamesDean123

    JamesDean123 Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    His issue is that until he can get these documents filed (the PoP etc), in the state of California, never being married to her, she has full custody of his child, can refuse visitation, and if she so chooses, can even move out of state with his child without even informing him. She's vindictive and he doesn't want to lose access to his child, which is why he's putting up with her crap until he can get the proper documents filed to protect him from her preventing him from seeing his child/being a part of his life, as well as to prevent her from leaving with his child.

    Those legal methods to communicate only about the child etc, are great, when there is an agreement in place. At this point, if he leaves her, she runs. He is stuck suffering her mental issues while trying to get these things processed and it's not been easy. I was hoping there was a way to gather evidence against her with these issues, so he has a leg to stand on, between her threats of physical harm to him, and the other many issues he's dealing with.

    Obviously my security camera idea isn't the solution, which was the main reason I had made the post. I appreciate those who actually tried to help, rather than just telling me to ignore it.
     

Share This Page