New Jersey Recording Law Summary:
Is New Jersey a One Party Consent State?
New Jersey recording law stipulates that it is a one-party consent state. In New Jersey, it is a criminal offense to use any device to record or share communications, whether they are oral or electronic, without the consent of at least one person taking part in the communication. This means that in New Jersey, you are legally allowed to record a conversation if you are a contributor, or with prior consent from one of the involved parties, barring any criminal intentions. It is also lawful to record electronic communications that are easily available to the public. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2A:156A-4 (West 2012).
You may not record, obtain, share or use conversations that you are not a part of without the consent of at least one party.
However, New Jersey law does make an exception in cases of oral conversations where the person or people communicating are doing so in an environment where they should not be under the expectation of privacy, not including any electronic communication. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2A:156A-2.
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.
New Jersey Video Recording Laws
It is a crime for a person to photograph, film, videotape, record, or otherwise reproduce in any way the image of another person’s intimate parts or sexual acts without that person’s consent and in circumstances where a reasonable person would not expect to be observed. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:14‐9(1)(b). For example, filming a person using a public restroom is illegal because a restroom is an area where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy and where people may expose their intimate parts.
Note that it is not illegal for retail establishments to observe, photograph, film, videotape, record or otherwise reproduce the image of persons in the access way, foyer or entrance to a fitting room or dressing room provided that the establishment posts a conspicuous notice at the entrance of such rooms informing the public of the surveillance activity. N.J. Stat. Ann. §
2C:14‐9(1)(e)(1). However, it is illegal to carry out surveillance activities inside a private dressing stall of a fitting room or dressing room. . N.J. Stat. Ann. §2C:14‐9(1)(f)
N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2A:156A-3: The illegal recording of an oral or electronic conversation is considered a crime of the third degree.
N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:14‐9(1)(b): Violating New Jersey’s video recording laws is considered a crime of the third degree which is punishable by imprisonment of 3 to 5 years and a fine not exceeding $15,000.
N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:14‐9(1)(c)&(2): Disclosing (sell, manufacture, distribute, disseminate, display) materials obtained in violation of New Jersey’s video recording laws without the consent of person(s) depicted in such materials is a crime of the third degree. In addition to the punishments mentioned above, a fine not exceeding $30,000 may be imposed for this offense.
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