Picking your brains...what would YOU do?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ok, this is regarding my DS again and my not-so-dear ex-daughter in law. I won't go into details, but the last time she talked to him on the phone she said, at the tail end of the conversation, "Oh, yeah. I'm recording you. It's legal if I tell you at any point in the conversation." Don't know what she's cooking up, but son doesn't want to talk to her if she is going to record all their conversations and he doesn't want to do it back to her. He just wants her to leave him alone unless there is a dire issue with his son. I told him to just calmly tell her he doesn't want to be taped and to communicate by texting. That way she can't go ballistic on him and that way there is a two way record of all their communication. I don't know if this is good advice.

    WWYD? :) I had no idea daughter in law was so loony when they were married. Son isn't Mr. Perfect, but he's a lot more stable than her (that ain't saying much!). She is always picking issues to fight over. I didn't know you could tape somebody without informing them in advance. They live in Missouri.
  2. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I would tell him that every time he has to talk to her - and he has to talk to her - he needs the very first thing to be out of his mouth to be "I do not consent to having any conversation with you recorded and if you are recording this conversation I need to say goodbye until we can have a normal conversation without spy equipment."

    She's only partially right. She has to inform him, AND get his consent. If he doesn't consent, she can record him all she wants but she can NEVER use a thing she gets off of the recording - including every bit of any recorded conversation before she said "Oh yeah. I'm recording you."

    FWIW, if she were able to get a tape admitted into court, she'd have to allow the entire tape into evidence. I'd imagine that the tapes would show that she baited him. It would be a mistake.
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Actually, you do have to inform them in advance as far as I know or it's not admissible in court. Ex is not law enforcement.

    If it were me, at this point since she's pulling all sorts of bull, I'd advise main communication be via lawyers. Otherwise via text, where like you said......it can be kept as a record via both sides, and your son can ignore it instead of feeling the need to always respond. This is what they pay the lawyers for by the way, a huge part of it anyway. If son is smart, he'd have visitation pick up and drop off either in a public place or a third party who can help keep him calm and ex is less likely to look the part of a raving lunatic.
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I record every minute of every conversation that I have with Cory's ex and she lives in MO at the moment and I dont give a darn if it is legal or not. I imagine she is doing the same because all her conversations seem very stilted. I also make print screen shots of her facebook pages...lol. I just keep info for future use if needed. Never know what might be valuable. Or not. I can always toss files.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Janet lol! She has blocked all of us from her FB. She slams him all over FB, but he can't see it anymore. The friend, who was mutual, who used to send him the stuff she has defriended...lol.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    M is one party consent unless the conversation is in support of a criminal activity or tortious act. It means that she has zero obligation to tell him he is being recorded.

    I would NOT consent to speak iwth her again. Let the atty's do it, let it be via emal/text. I WOULD record every conversation with her and wth his son when the child is with her.

    As for facebook, why not create a bogus identity and friend her? Don't let it have info about you, and keep a notebook of the screen shots and other info printed out. also keep details of this invented indvidual's profile, basic info, etc.... If he is aware of where she went to school, find an old picture, say you are a friend from whatever school (look at reunion websites for names of her classmates from way back when).

    Heck, make this person a female dealing with a child and new man after a divorce. Let them vent and rant and commiserate. And record it all. Not sure if your son could do this and use it in court, but other people could and then tell him if/when something is found/said.I wouldn't even tell him if I were you. I would wait until there was somethng useful and then would go to him, or have a friend go to him. That way he can honestly say he had no clue about the invented idividual on fb.
  7. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Missouri is a one-party state. She can record everyone of their conversations without telling him and it is legal. She cannot record his conversations with the child as she is not a party to that conversation.

    (North Carolina is also a one-party state.)

    Again, I strongly recommend they use a parenting website like www.ourfamilywizard.com
  8. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    (Isn't that what I said? Sorry if I was confusing.)
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Witz, in a one party state there is NO need for notification. It is perfectly legal if she is on the phone. She mght even record his conversations with the child IF the child is on speakerphone and she is in the room. No expectation of privacy if the phone is on speaker, Know what I mean??

    In some states there is the need for notification of all parties, but I believe it is thirty eight or thirty nine states that are one party states.
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I'm wondering if there is a difference, though, depending on what she intends to do with it?

    It may be legal to record for your own purposes - for example, to record an IEP meeting, so you can go over it in detail and take better notes later etc. - without notification. In which case she doesn't have to tell him she is recording the conversation.

    But would that recording be accepted in court as evidence? i.e. can she actually use that against him?

    I was aware of a situation here where video was taken without the intended target's permission (done by homeowner for reasonable cause)... the video could not be used in court against this person, but it did provide enough evidence for police to go through the right channels and get a court-approved video of their own (i.e. the homeowner showed it to police, and based on homeowners complaint + "police assessment of situation" with no mention of seeing the video... police acted).

    If she's baiting him on the calls - that will show up on the call as well. She may be revealing more about herself than she wants to let a court know. It may be more for psychological blackmail... in which case, avoidance is probably a good thing.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I looked it up and warned my son. She can record him and never tell him. He decided not to talk to her, just do texts.

    J. only lets her friends see her FB posts and son and I and any bogus identity I'd produce would never become her friend. She is very suspicious and has to know the person before she accepts their (cough) friendship. So we can't see her nasty posts about Sportsfan.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
  12. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I am just really sorry your son has to go through all of this. I'm sure it's hard to see him suffer.
  13. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Yes, I know this about recording. Getting it into evidence when one party has objected is NOT going to be allowed. This I know from personal experience with recordings in a "one party" state. She probably wouldn't even get it in if she didn't inform and the second party hadn't had a chance to object. Judges just plain don't like it because it is too easy to manipulate the recording and they don't trust non-court recognized experts.

    The ABSOLUTE BEST she could expect from a recording is this - Her attorney asks him a question on the stand and he remembers it differently than she does - or differently than her possibly doctored tape will show. After he answers, her lawyer says, (This is the absolute only question the lawyer can ask that will get past his lawyer's objection, I promise you) "My client thought that you might not remember the conversation in question, so she recorded it. If I played that recording for you is it possible that you might testify differently?"

    At which point he can still say "No, I stand by my testimony." Then her lawyer has to authenticate the tapes to the satisfaction of the judge, which is about .05% likely will happen, and she has to allow his lawyer to listen to all of the tapes for preparation of cross examination. That's going to delay the hearing for several weeks immediately in the middle of the hearing. Not going to happen.

    MWM asked for my opinion, and I'm giving it. I paid for it, I lived through it, and it's absolutely legally valid. She'll never get a tape in, and he should shut her down by telling her he won't communicate with her if it's recorded.
  14. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I would agree with you 100% except that, based on previous comments MWM has posted, Sportsfan's attorney is not the best and if he doesn't correctly object to the admission of the tapes, her attorney could squeak them in

    Sportsfan needs to practice detachment, only speak to her about the child and keep it very professional. Primarily because it is the right way to handle it and a bonus is that it will drive her nuts.
  15. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    And, if a GAL is assigned, mom could give her the tapes and that could definitely influence the GALs recommendations.
  16. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    My experience with recordings (and photos and video for that matter) are similar to Witz's. I don't know if there are significant differences between Canadian and U.S. law in these matters, but a lot of judges don't want to go near them because they're too difficult to verify.

    Still, SportsFan would probably do well to communicate with her only in writing -- text or e-mail, and if possible, through third-parties such as lawyers. One thing he can do is to send a copy of all correspondnce -- his and hers -- to his lawyer. That way he establishes a pattern of communication between them. If she's difficult or unresponsive, it still shows that he has made reasonable attempts to communicate properly about issues relating to their child. That sort of thing does carry weight with family courts.

    I hope this doesn't drag on too long.