Indiana Recording Law

Note: This page covers information specific to Indiana. For general information concerning the use of recording devices see the Recording Phone Calls, Conversations, Meetings and Hearings section of this guide.

Indiana Wiretapping Law

Indiana's wiretapping law is a "one-party consent" law. Indiana makes it a crime to record a telephone conversation unless one party to the conversation consents. See Ind. Code § 35-31.5-2-176 and Ind. Code § 35-33.5-5-5. Therefore, you may record a telephone conversation if you are a party to the conversation or you get permission from one party to the conversation. That said, if you intend to record conversations involving people located in more than one state, you should play it safe and get the consent of all parties. In-person conversations do not appear to be covered by the law, but it cannot hurt to get consent before recording just in case.

In addition to subjecting you to criminal prosecution, violating the Indiana wiretapping law can expose you to a civil lawsuit for damages by an injured party. Ind. Code § 35-33.5-5-4.

Consult The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press's Can We Tape?: Indiana for more on Indiana wiretapping law.

Indiana Law on Recording Court Hearings and Public Meetings

Court Hearings

You are permitted to use recording devices in the Indiana Supreme Court and in Indiana appellate court proceedings. For the Indiana Supreme Court, you must make a request twenty-four hours before the start of the proceedings. For Indiana appellate courts, you must make a request forty-eight hours before the start of the proceedings. (Note that all appellate oral arguments are also webcast live and are available on-line.)

As part of a pilot project that ended December 31, 2007, Indiana state trial courts allowed recording devices in court where both parties agreed. It is presently unclear whether this state of affairs will continue. Initial reports do not appear positive.

Federal courts in Indiana, both at the trial and appellate level, prohibit the use of sound and video recording devices in the courtroom.

For information on your right of access to court proceedings, please consult the Access to Government Information section of the guide.

Public Meetings

If you attend a public meeting (i.e., a meeting of a governmental body required to be open to the public by law) in Indiana, the presiding body may not prohibit you from making a sound recording. See Ind. Code § 5-14-1.5-3(a) (scroll down) (meetings of "governing bodies of public agencies must be open at all times for the purpose of permitting members of the public to observe and record them"). The precise status of video recording is less clear under the law, but in practice still photography and video recording are commonplace.

For information on your right of access to public meetings, please consult the Access to Government Information section of the guide and The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press's Open Government Guide: Indiana.


Last updated on November 19th, 2012

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