There are often questions about the laws on recording conversations between parties, and most often, whether both parties need to be aware that a conversation is being recorded. The short answer is that it depends. The law varies by state as to whether both parties need to be notified when a conversation is being recorded. Thirty-eight states, including Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota are one-party consent states – which means one party has the right to record a conversation without getting consent from the other.
- Iowa Code Ann. § 808B.2(2)(c) – An individual may record or disclose the contents of an oral, electronic, or telephonic communication if they are a party to the conversation, or if any party to the conversation has consented to the recording.
- Neb. Rev. Stat. § 86-290(2)(c) – It is not unlawful for an individual who is a party to a conversation, or an individual with consent from a party to a conversation, to record an in-person or electronic communication, so long as it is not done so for the purpose of committing a crime or a tort.
- S.D. Codified Laws § 23A-35A-20 – It is not unlawful for an individual who is a party to a conversation, or an individual with consent from a party to a conversation, to record the contents of that communication.
Keep in mind that because these are states laws, there are different laws at play when it comes to interstate or multi-state phone calls. When parties of the conversation are in different states, the law that applies will vary. Although a large majority of states allow one-party consent, it may be the case that a state with all-party consent is the law that applies. Additionally, federal laws may apply – like federal wiretapping, or laws that apply to eavesdropping.
Questions? Contact our Sioux City, Sioux Falls, or Omaha office today.