In the middle of July 2010 the news stories were full of the audio taping of a conversation between Mel Gibson and his supposed girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva. SignonSanDiego.com carried a story written by Anthony McCartney, an AP entertainment writer, as to this story. Reportedly Mel and Oksana were face to face and Oksana covertly recorded Mel in his outburst(s) against her.
As a La Jolla divorce attorney we received many cases into my office pertaining to Domestic Violence Restraining Orders. We are often asked, "can I record the telephone call"? Or, "can I record my spouse (or the person with whom the client was living)"? California law on these questions can be complex. The answers here are for information purposes only. You must clarify these questions with an attorney as the answer may change according to the circumstances.
First, you must make a distinction between recorded telephone calls and in person conversations. California requires mutual consent, or two-party consent as to taping phone calls. For many of our clients, when the situation is appropriate, we obtain a court order which specifically allows the taping of phone calls. California provides a Penal Code section for the recording of a phone call without prior court approval and without consent. Since this code section may result in serious consequences, one must be very cautious prior to recording a phone call.