Vermont Recording Law Summary:
Is Vermont a One Party Consent State?
Vermont law does not contain any provisions regarding the legality of recording or sharing any kind of audio-based conversations. This means that Vermont is considered a one-party consent state. However, the state Supreme Court has determined that it is a criminal offense to covertly and electronically monitor communications occurring in an person’s home. Vermont v. Geraw, 795 A.2d 1219 (Vt. 2002). A state high court upheld that an individual should not be under the expectation of privacy in a hospital’s emergency treatment section as any number of different people are frequently coming and going. Vermont v. Rheaume, 889 A.2d 711 (Vt. 2005). It is also considered lawful to record a conversation taking place in a parking lot for the same reason. Vermont v. Brooks, 601 A.2d 963 (Vt. 1991).
Vermont Video Recording Laws
Vermont’s voyeurism statute criminalizes the following:
- Capturing photographs or video of an individual’s “intimate areas”.
- Capturing photographs or video of an individual engaged in a sexual act in a situation where they should be able to expect privacy.
- Capturing and/or sharing photographs or video of an individual within a residence when they should be able to expect privacy. For example, surveilling your neighbor’s backyard or any part of the neighbor’s residence is illegal because he or she is entitled to privacy in that residence.
However, it is lawful to use recording devices for other reasons in areas open to the public or elsewhere in situations where one should not be under the expectation of privacy. Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 13, § 2605 (2012).
Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 13, § 2605(b), (d), (e)
Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 13, § 2605(j): Violating Vermont’s voyeurism laws is punishable by imprisonment not exceeding 2 years or fine not exceeding $2000. For second and subsequent offenses, violators may be punished by imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or a fine not exceeding $5000, or both.
Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 13, § 2605(j): Displaying or disclosing to a third party images obtained in violation of Vermont’s voyeurism laws is illegal and punishable by imprisonment not exceeding 5 years or fine not exceeding $5000, or both.