California Supreme Court decides that the consent of all parties to a call is required before the call can be recorded, reversing Court of Appeal

2021 case review: Smith v. LoanMe, Inc.

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The California Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeal and preserved the previously understood interpretation of Penal Code section 632.7, that it requires the consent of all parties to a call before the call can be recorded. Section 632.7 makes it a crime when a person, "without consent of all parties to a communication," intercepts or intentionally records a communication transmitted between a cellular or cordless telephone and another telephone. The court of appeal had held that only non-parties were required to obtain consent. The Supreme Court reversed and held that recording a communication without the speaker's consent is unlawful, regardless of whether a party to the call or someone else is recording the call.