Recording Telephone Calls
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Fla. Stat. ch. 934.03: All parties must consent to the recording or the disclosure of the contents of any wire, oral or electronic communication in Florida. Recording or disclosing without the consent of all parties is a felony, unless the interception is a first offense committed without any illegal purpose, and not for commercial gain, or the communication is the radio portion of a cellular conversation. Such first offenses and the interception of cellular communications are misdemeanors. State v. News-Press Pub. Co., 338 So. 2d 1313 (1976), State v. Tsavaris, 394 So. 2d 418 (1981).
Under the statute, consent is not required for the taping of a non-electronic communication uttered by a person who does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in that communication. See definition of "oral communication," Fla. Stat. ch. 934.02.
Anyone whose communications have been illegally intercepted may recover actual damages or $100 for each day of violation or $1,000, whichever is greater, along with punitive damages, attorney fees and litigation costs. Fla. Stat. ch. 934.10.
A federal appellate court has held that because only interceptions made through an "electronic, mechanical or other device" are illegal under Florida law, telephones used in the ordinary course of business to record conversations do not violate the law. The court found that business telephones are not the type of devices addressed in the law and, thus, that a life insurance company did not violate the law when it routinely recorded business-related calls on its business extensions. Royal Health Care Servs., Inc. v. Jefferson-Pilot Life Ins. Co. , 924 F.2d 215 (11th Cir. 1991).
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