Maine Recording Laws

Maine Recording Law Summary:

Maine recording law stipulates that it is a one-party consent state. In Maine, it is a criminal offense to use any device to record, obtain, use or share communications, whether they are wire, oral or electronic, without the consent of at least one person taking part in the communication, unless the conversation is audible by normal, unaided hearing. This means that in Maine, you are legally allowed to record a conversation if you are a contributor, or with prior consent from one of the involved parties. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 15, § 710.

This state’s privacy laws also forbid the recording or sharing of images obtained illegally. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 17-A, §511.

Personal Conversations:

You may not record, obtain, use or share conversations that you are not a part of without the consent of at least one party.

If you are a third-party and require consent from the parties taking part in the conversation, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) states that you may gain consent to make a recording by:

  • Getting verbal or written consent prior to the recording being made.
  • A verbal notification being played before the conversation begins. (For example: “This phone call is being recorded for quality control purposes…”).
  • An audible beep tone being repeated at steady intervals during the duration of the conversation.

Maine Video Recording Laws

It is considered violation of privacy to install or use:

  • Any device for observing, photographing, recording, amplifying or broadcasting sounds or events that are happening in a private place without the consent of person(s) entitled to privacy in that place.
  • Outside a private place any device for hearing, recording, amplifying or broadcasting sounds originating from that private place that would otherwise not be audible or comprehensible outside that place.

So for example, it is illegal to point your surveillance camera at your neighbors backyard because he or she is entitled to privacy in that area. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 17‐A, § 511(1)(b)‐(c)

It is also against the law to use any electronic device to photograph, observe, record, or broadcast images of intimate parts of another person when that person is in a public place and such intimate parts are concealed under clothing in a manner that a reasonable person would expect them to be safe from surveillance. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 17‐A, § 511(1)(d)

Penalties:

Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 17-A, §§ 1251, 1301: It is considered a Class C crime to illegally record or share communications, subject to a $5,000 fine and a maximum of five years imprisonment..

Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 17‐A, § 511(3): Violation of privacy is considered a Class D crime subject to a $2,000 fine and less than a year in jail.

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