Can my neighbor legally record me through the wall without my consent…

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can my neighbor legally record me through the wall without my consent…

and then provide audio recordings to the
Homeowner’s association so they can ‘fine’ me??

Asked on July 2, 2019 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, they cannot: this would be considered illegal "wiretapping" and is a crime. In California, every participant in a conversation must consent or agree to recorded; if they don't, it is a crime. Since you did not consent, this was a criminal act.
That does not mean, however, that the HOA cannot fine you based on the recordings: if the recording is illegally made, it can be used by a private organization (e.g. the HOA) to whom it is provided. But it does mean that you could file a police report and look to press charges against your neighbor.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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