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Who Needs to Know When I am Making a Recording?

Whenever you are making a recording of an individual (this does not include video with no audio in a public place) usually at least one party to the conversation needs to be aware of the recording.  In other words, you cannot put a device to record all phone calls on a line, unless you are always a party to those phone calls.  Also, you cannot "accidentally" leave a recording device in another room and walk out to record what took place in the other room.  Exceptions to this require a judges order.

In other words, you cannot bug anyone's car, apartment, house, office... you name it.

You can, in one party state (meaning one party to the conversation is aware) walk around and record everything without telling anyone.  You can use a hidden camera and record everything that is going on around you (there are some facilities that can outlaw this).

Some states require both parties to be aware they are being recorded. These states are:

New Hampshire

Assume places like Washington D.C. and other US places to be 2 party unless you can find something to clearly state otherwise.

This means in 2 party states you cannot secretly record any conversation or use a hidden camera with audio. You can use a hidden camera without audio in public places.

Whatever you do - Stay safe!

When You are Not Wanted

Sometimes private investigators get called upon to do a "welfare check" on an individual.  The most common is when there is no family close by and there is an elderly family member that no one has heard from for a long time.  There are other variations of these, but the bottom line is the investigator has no more authority to do a check than any other individual.

I was recently asked to do a welfare check on someone, and as soon as I got to the door to ask about the person, I was turned away by someone in the house that appeared to belong inside.  I had a small concern, but not a large one for the welfare of the person I was sent to check on, but not enough that I felt a need to call the police.

My point is that sometimes all an investigator can do is ask.  If they push the issue any more, they can be treading on harassment or similar charges.

I know this isn't the most interesting thing in a case, but it is the kind of day to day thing an investigator has to deal with.

Whatever you do - Stay safe!