Recording Telephone Calls
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Wis. Stat. § 968.31: A person who is a party to a wire, electronic or oral communication, or who has obtained prior consent from one party, can legally record and divulge the contents of the communication, unless he does so for the purpose of committing a criminal or tortious act.
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," Wis. Stat. § 968.27.
Effective Feb. 1, 2003, the punishment for recording or disclosing the contents of a conversation without the appropriate consent is imprisonment for up to six years and/or a criminal fine of up to $10,000. Wisconsin law expressly authorizes civil damages for violations and allows recovery of the greater of actual damages, $100 for each day of violation or $1,000, along with punitive damages, litigation costs and attorney fees.
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