Delaware Call Recording Law

Below is a section of the Delaware State Statutes that we believe apply to recording phone conversations. This information is not intended as a substitute for legal counsel.

From the Delaware State Code

Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 2402(c)(4): Delaware's wiretapping and surveillance law specifically allows an individual to "intercept" (defined as acquiring the contents of a communication through a mechanical device) any wire, oral or electronic communication to which the individual is a party, or a communication in which any one of the parties has given prior consent, so long as the communication is not intercepted with a criminal or tortious intent.

However, another Delaware privacy law makes it illegal to intercept "without the consent of all parties thereto a message by telephone, telegraph, letter or other means of communicating privately, including private conversation." Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1335(a)(4). The wiretapping law is much more recent, and at least one federal court has held that, even under the privacy law, an individual can record his own conversations. United States v. Vespe, 389 F. Supp. 1359 (1975).

Under the wiretapping law, communications intercepted illegally, or the disclosure of the contents of illegally recorded communications, can result in prosecution for a felony and a fine of up to $10,000. Del. Code Ann. tit 11, § 2402 (b). Civil liability also can be imposed in the amount of actual damages or a fine of $100 a day for each day of violation or $1,000, whichever is more, along with punitive damages, attorney fees and litigation costs. Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 2409.

Installing a camera or other recording device "in any private place, without consent of the person or persons entitled to privacy there" is a misdemeanor, and under a 1999 amendment, the use of hidden cameras to record individuals dressing or undressing in a private place is a felony. Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1335(2), (6).

Important Notice

It is always best to talk with an attorney if you have questions about the legal implications of recording calls in your state. We hope this information will serve as a general guide, and is not intended to substitute for expert legal counsel.

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