1. Charges Dropped for Mother of Bullied Child
    November 30, 2017
    Recently a mother in Virginia was charged with a Class 6 Felony for sending her child to school with an audio recording device. The purpose of the device was to record the children who had been consistently bullying her child. Thankfully, those charges were dropped, but it did make me wonder how Missouri law would compare. In Missouri, in-person, or oral communication recording falls under Missouri's wiretapping laws (RSMo. 542.400 - 542.422). Under RSMo 542.400(8) it states that oral communication is any communication uttered by a person exhibiting an expectation that such communication is not subject to interception under circumstances justifying such expectation. Arguably, this means that any conversation held in public could be recordable so long as one of the parties to the conversation is aware the conversation is being recorded (so, no hiding a recorder in a spouses bag) and, the other (unknowing) party has not taken specific precautions to show they were attempting to avoid being recorded. Another important caveat, you cannot record the conversation for a criminal or tortious act. For example, you could not use that recording to then go an blackmail the other party. You could however take that recording to you local prosecutor. With bullying being a issue of significant concern across the nation I understand the desire to surreptitously record bullies in action to provide real proof of their misdeeds. However, I would certainly suggest all other avenues be pursued first. My daughter's school has a saying I really like, "Be Brave, Be Bold, a Teacher [Responsible Adult] must be told."
    Nothing in this posting is intended to provide legal advice. All readers should consult their legal advisor regarding any legal question.