Are Video Recordings Admissible in Family Court?

Today, people use electronic devices to communicate with each other daily. As technology becomes further ingrained in our lives, the use of electronic evidence in court is growing. When it comes to family law, electronic evidence may take the form of cellphone video recordings, doorbell cameras, home security cameras, baby monitors, photographs, Zoom calls, and FaceTimes.  It is important to understand your rights and how electronic evidence can be examined in your case, in the event that these recordings are used against you.

The New Jersey Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Control Act regulates electronic recordings or interceptions. New Jersey’s wiretapping law is known as a “one-party consent” law, which means that it is illegal to intercept or record phone or in-person conversations unless one party within the conversation consents. Therefore, if you are part of the conversation or you get permission from another party within the conversation, you are allowed to record the conversation.

Under these circumstances, you may not be aware that you are being recorded, but the other party has already consented and has no duty to inform you that the conversation is being recorded. These recordings and photographs can be admissible in family court as long as they can be authenticated pursuant to the New Jersey Rules of Evidence.

Conversations may be recorded in public spaces as well. In New Jersey, these recordings are admissible as an exception, but they are not generally protected under the law, as those involved in the recordings had no expectation of privacy. Concerning the expectation of privacy, there are certain factors that can help determine if the person had any expectation of privacy, such as the volume of the conversation, proximity of witnesses to the conversation, and the conversation’s location.

If you are involved in a family law case, you should understand that you can be recorded without your consent and this evidence can be used in court. Whether the case involves a divorce, child custody, or another matter in family law, it is important to understand your rights. If you or a loved one is facing these issues, a knowledgeable family law attorney can guide you through the process and help you understand your rights. An experienced lawyer at Moskowitz Law Group can review your situation and help you understand how video recordings may impact your case. Contact us today to learn more about the use of electronic evidence in family court.

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