Bugging and Tape Recording Conversations in Arizona: Is it Legal?

Written by Trent R. Wilcox, Esq.


Lawyers often receive inquiries aboutrepparttar legalities of recording phone or other conversations in Arizona. In particular,repparttar 119178 issue frequently arises in family law cases where child custody is at issue. Related torepparttar 119179 recording issue isrepparttar 119180 "bugging" issue.

There are a number of variables that affectrepparttar 119181 answer torepparttar 119182 central question, whether it is legal to either record or even bug conversations. First, bugging and recording are two different issues under Arizona law, often related, but also potentially very different underrepparttar 119183 law.

Second,repparttar 119184 laws regarding bugging and recording vary significantly by jurisdiction so what is legal in one state may be illegal in another. As well,repparttar 119185 federal law may vary from state laws.

The following is a very brief analysis ofrepparttar 119186 bugging and recording law in Arizona:

A. Bugging, otherwise known as wiretapping, typically means placing a device on a phone that allows one to eavesdrop on a conversation or other transmission. Bugging by a private party is considered illegal almost all ofrepparttar 119187 time for two reasons primarily: First, it allows someone to listen to a private conversation between two or more unsuspecting parties. Second, bugs are usually placed without permission so you have a number of infractions inherent in such trespass-like activity. If you suspect someone has placed a bug on your phone or other device, you should callrepparttar 119188 police.

B. Inrepparttar 119189 case of a telephone or in-person conversation, recording simply means making a copy ofrepparttar 119190 conversation between two or more people. Recording is illegal in Arizona if NO party torepparttar 119191 conversation knows thatrepparttar 119192 conversation is being recorded. However, in Arizona, and this varies by state, if one party torepparttar 119193 conversation knows thatrepparttar 119194 conversation is being recorded, it is not illegal. Thus, if someone tape records a phone call or conversation involving him/herself and another person, even one who is unaware of being recorded, that's legal in Arizona. Ifrepparttar 119195 same person taps into a phone line and records a conversation between two people who are unaware they are being recorded, it is ILLEGAL. Arizona and federal law are similar in this respect; however, recording conversations is illegal in certain other states unless all parties know ofrepparttar 119196 recording and consent. There may be some cross-jurisdictional issues involved when tape recording a conversation across state or national boundaries. Prior to tape recording, it is recommended that you consult an attorney inrepparttar 119197 appropriate jurisdiction.

Child Support in the Arizona Family Court: How Do Social Security Benefits Affect Calculations?

Written by Trent R. Wilcox, Esq.


Social Security benefits can affect child support in two ways. First, if eitherrepparttar parent paying child support (the "obligor") orrepparttar 119177 parent receiving child support (the "obligee") receives Social Security benefits,repparttar 119178 Arizona Child Support Guidelines require thatrepparttar 119179 Social Security benefits be included in determining either parents income. Thus,repparttar 119180 Social Security benefits help to determinerepparttar 119181 initial child support obligation.

Second,repparttar 119182 Social Security benefits can affectrepparttar 119183 amount of child support that must be paid out of pocket byrepparttar 119184 parent paying child support. Section 26 ofrepparttar 119185 Arizona Child Support Guidelines addresses this issue and states verbatim as follows:

A. Income earned or money received by a child from any source other than court-ordered child support shall not be counted toward either parentís child support obligation except as stated herein. However, income earned or money received by or on behalf of a person for whom child support is ordered to continue pastrepparttar 119186 age of majority pursuant to Arizona Revised Statute Sections 25-320.B and 25-809.F may be credited against any child support obligation.

B. Benefits, such as Social Security Disability or Insurance, received by a custodial parent on behalf of a child, as a result of contributions made byrepparttar 119187 parent paying child support shall be credited as follows: 1. Ifrepparttar 119188 amount ofrepparttar 119189 child's benefit for a given month is equal to or greater thanrepparttar 119190 paying parent's child support obligation, then that parent's obligation is satisfied. 2. Any benefit received byrepparttar 119191 child for a given month in excess ofrepparttar 119192 child support obligation shall not be treated as an arrearage payment nor as a credit toward future child support payments. 3. Ifrepparttar 119193 amount ofrepparttar 119194 child's benefit for a given month is less thanrepparttar 119195 parent's child support obligation,repparttar 119196 parent shall payrepparttar 119197 difference unlessrepparttar 119198 court, in its discretion, modifiesrepparttar 119199 child support order to equalrepparttar 119200 benefits being received at that time.

C. Except as otherwise provided in section 5.B, any benefits received directly, and not on behalf of a child, by eitherrepparttar 119201 custodial parent orrepparttar 119202 parent paying child support as a result of his or her own contributions, shall be included as part of that parentís gross income.

The interpretation of Section 26, above, minus some ofrepparttar 119203 legalese, is really pretty simple:

A. If a child receives benefits from a source outside ofrepparttar 119204 parent paying child support, it will not normally diminishrepparttar 119205 paying parent's child support obligation unlessrepparttar 119206 Arizona Child Support Guidelines provide a specific exception. However, if a mentally or physically disabled child receives child support pastrepparttar 119207 age of majority, those amounts may be credited towardrepparttar 119208 paying parent's child support obligation. Notice this is a "may" and not a "shall," meaning thatrepparttar 119209 court has discretion in this child support matter.

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