Missouri Recording Laws*

Missouri Recording Law Summary:

Is Missouri a One Party Consent State?

Missouri recording law stipulates that it is a one party consent state. In Missouri, it is a criminal offense to use any device to record or share communications, whether they’re wire or oral, without the consent of at least one contributing party. This means that in Missouri you are not legally allowed to record a wire or oral conversation you are taking part in unless you have the consent of at least one party.

This state does stipulate that electronic communications can be lawfully recorded or shared with the consent of at least one party, barring any criminal intentions. This applies to conversations where all contributing parties are using a cell phone, including text messages sent between cell phones. However, a Missouri appellate court determined that a conversation taking place where one party is using a cell phone and the other is using a regular wire phone is indeed protected under the wiretap law. Lee v. Lee, 967 S.W.2d 82 (Mo. Ct. App. 1998).

Personal Conversations:

You may not record, obtain, share or use oral or wire conversations that you are not a part of without the consent of at least one party. Electronic communications cannot be recorded or shared without the consent of at least one party.

However, Missouri law does make an exception in cases where the person or people communicating are doing so in an environment where they should not be under the expectation of privacy.

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.

Missouri Video Recording Laws

It is considered an offense of invasion of privacy to photograph, film, videotape, or produce an image of another person without that person’s consent when that person is in a place where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy and in a state of full or partial nudity. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 565.252(1)(1). For example, you are not allowed to record a person who is using a restroom because that is place where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy and where people might be in a state of full or partial nudity.

It is also an offense of invasion of privacy to photograph, film, videotape, or produce an image of another person under or through that person’s clothing  with the intention of viewing the body or undergarments worn by that person without that person’s consent. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 565.252(1)(2)

Penalties:

Mo. Ann. Stat. § 542.402: It is considered a felony offense to illegally record an oral or electronic conversation.

Mo. Rev. Stat. § 565.252(2): Invasion of privacy is a Class A misdemeanor which carries a sentence not exceeding 1 year.

Mo. Rev. Stat. § 565.252(2): Disseminating and distributing images obtained in violation of Missouri video recording laws, invading the privacy of more than one person and having a subsequent or second violation are considered as Class E felonies which carry a sentence not exceeding 4 years.

Other Missouri Laws

2 Comments

  1. William Marquand

    Typo Alert – This is contradictory and self-defeating. “of all contributing parties.” needs to read “of at least one contributing party.”

    Missouri Recording Law Summary:
    Is Missouri a One Party Consent State?
    Missouri recording law stipulates that it is a one party consent state. In Missouri, it is a criminal offense to use any device to record or share communications, whether they’re wire or oral, without the consent of all contributing parties. This means that in Missouri you are not legally allowed to record a wire or oral conversation you are taking part in unless you have the consent of at least one party.

    Reply
    • Edmond K.

      Updated, thanks for the alert!

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *