Pennsylvania Man Arrested for Recording Child Custody Conference


A father, Patrick Cline, was arrested and is facing potential criminal charges for his acts during a Pennsylvania child custody hearing. According to reports, Cline is being charged and was named on an arrest warrant for "intercepting and disclosing private communications" which he recorded during a child custody conference on September 2 in a Pennsylvania family court. Not only did he record the conversations, he also posted them on Facebook.

Reports indicate the Mr. Cline, in the second recording he took and posted onto the social media site, was heard admitting to his ex-wife that he was recording the session. Upon saying this, the hearing officer ordered him to stop and asked court personnel to take his cellphone away from him to prevent him from recording the session any further.

When asked the reason that he chose to record the hearings, which he knew was against the law, he stated because he did not feel that he was being treated fairly. He believed that the court was against him and siding with his wife so that he would not be able to have contact with his children. Cline cites this belief as the reason he chose to illegally record the hearing.

At issue here is the fact that Cline recorded audio of the hearing in which he and his ex-wife were involved. Under Pennsylvania law, using any sort of technology during court hearings, absent the consent of both parties and the judge, is not permissible. Whether it is taking pictures or taking an audio or visual recording of the proceedings, consent needs to be obtained in order to protect the parties to the case.

If you are facing a child custody dispute, contact our Western Pennsylvania child custody lawyers at Lisa Marie Vari & Associates. Our team of experienced family law attorneys will work with you to ensure that all of your legal rights are protected and that you are treated fairly by the PA family court system. Don't wait until you find yourself in a situation in which you feel that the only option is to take matters into your own hands, contact our Pennsylvania Family Lawyers today!

Source: ABA Journal

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