Wiretap Laws in Ohio
Prepared by the Family Defense Network of Ohio
Ohio law regarding the recording of telephone conversations is much more permissive than many other states. In Ohio, the law simply says that if you are a part of a telephone conversation, you can record the conversation without the consent or knowledge of the other people involved in the conversation. In other words, if you call the Department of Children's Services and talk with a social worker, you may record the conversation without informing the social worker that you are doing so. The practice is perfectly legal, and the subsequent conversation can be used as evidence in future litigation. This section also applies to an oral conversation you might have with another in person, or any other type of electronic conversation.
The section including the wiretap regulation is shown below. The first part of the law places restrictions on those who want to intercept a telephone conversation when no one involved in the conversation is aware it is being recorded.
§ 2933.52 Interception of wire, oral or electronic communications.
(A) No person purposely shall do any of the following:
(1) Intercept, attempt to intercept, or procure another person to intercept or attempt to intercept a wire, oral, or electronic communication;
Subsection (B) of this statute explains the exceptions to this law. It is in this section that a person is given permission to record a conversation if they are part of that conversation.
(B) This section does not apply to any of the following:
(4) A person who is not a law enforcement officer and who intercepts a wire, oral, or electronic communication, if the person is a party to the communication or if one of the parties to the communication has given the person prior consent to the interception, and if the communication is not intercepted for the purpose of committing a criminal offense or tortious act in violation of the laws or Constitution of the United States or this state or for the purpose of committing any other injurious act;
You can see that the wiretap restriction DOES NOY APPLY to a person who "is a party to the communication." It is wise to record all of your conversations with any person who is investigating allegations of child abuse or neglect (or any reason for that matter) that you are involved in. I recommend that if possible, you do not advise the person that you are recording the conversation. You'll gather more interesting evidence that way.