Hawaii Call Recording Law

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

From the Hawaii State Code

Haw. Rev. Stat. § 803-42: Any wire, oral or electronic communication (including cellular phone calls) can lawfully be recorded by a person who is a party to the communication, or when one of the parties has consented to the recording, so long as no criminal or tortious purpose exists. Unlawful interceptions or disclosures of private communications are punishable as felonies.

The one-party consent rule does not apply, however, to the installation of a recording device in a "private place" that will amplify or broadcast conversations outside that private place. All parties who have a reasonable expectation of privacy in that place must consent to the installation of a recording device. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 803-42(b)(3).

Civil penalties for unlawful interception or disclosure include the greater of actual damages or any profits made by the violator, $100 for each day of violation, or $10,000, along with punitive damages, attorney fees and litigation costs. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 803-48. A hotel room has been found by the Hawaii Supreme Court to be a private place where a recording device cannot legally be installed without the consent of the room's occupants. Hawaii v. Lo, 675 P.2d 754 (Haw. 1983).

It is a felony to install or use a surveillance device in a private place to view a person in a "stage of undress or sexual activity" without the person's consent. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 711-1110.9. It is a misdemeanor to possess materials obtained in this manner. If the person is not in such a stage, it is a misdemeanor. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 711-1111.

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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