Below is a section of the Ohio State Statutes that we believe apply to recording phone conversations. This information is not intended as a substitute for legal counsel.
From the Ohio State Code
Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2933.52: Intercepting, recording or disclosing the contents of a wire, oral or electronic communication if a person is a participant, or has obtained the consent of at least one participant, is legal unless it is accompanied by a criminal or tortious intent.
Under the statute, consent is not required for the taping of a non-electronic communication uttered by a person who does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in that communication. See definition of "oral communication," Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2933.51. The Ohio Supreme Court has held that prisoners do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their communications, for purposes of the wiretapping law. State v. Robb, 723 N.E.2d 1019 (Ohio 2000).
Illegal interceptions are felonies and also carry potential civil liability for the greater of actual damages, $200 per day of violation or $10,000, along with punitive damages, attorney fees and litigation expenses. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2933.65.
The recording of cordless telephone conversations picked up, initially inadvertently, through a baby monitor without the consent of any party to the conversations was found to be an illegal interception of both an oral and wire communication by the state’s highest court in 1994. Ohio v. Bidinost, 644 N.E.2d 318 (Ohio 1994).
Ohio has an anti-voyeurism law that prohibits surreptitiously invading a person’s privacy for sexual purposes. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2907.08.
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.