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Radio Shack sells a Multi-Phone Cassette Recorder Controller device for $24.99 (Part Number43-236, Part 24 in their 1996 Catalog). A recording device is also available at Electrotex on Forest Lane, Dallas.

The recording control device is about 2-1/2" square by 1" high.. When installed according to the Instructions that come with it, the device will automatically record your calls on most cassette tape recorders that have REMote and MICrophone jacks.

If you leave the tape-recorder set on 'RECORD', it will automatically begin recording whenever any telephone extension on the line is picked-up; then it stops when the phone is hung-up. The illustration below is an approximation of the installation setup.

Admissibility of Recording in Court

It is legal to tap your own private telephone line and to record your own conversations. You don't have to tell anybody that the line is tapped, or that you are recording. As long as one of the parties to a conversation (yourself) knows the line is tapped, the tape recordings can sometimes be admitted to the court as evidence. If the defendant lies to the court then you may be able to introduce the tapes to impeach their testimony (prove they are lying). Check the wire-tapping statutes for your state, as well as the rules of evidence in your state Rules of Court. (Note: It is illegal to tape party lines or to tape people, other than yourself, who use your private line.) Some judges will admit tapes as evidence only if you have provided a cleanly typed word-for-word transcription of the conversations.

Authentication and Identification

In most instances, you may improve the likelihood of the tapes being admitted as evidence if you authenticate and identify the tape, as follows:

Dial the first digit of the phone number (to remove the dial-tone), and state your name, the date and time, and the full name and phone number of the party you are calling. Then finish dialing the number. As soon as the other party answers, use their name and identify yourself in the conversation ('Hello, Mary this is Joe!'). If the other party has called you, you can state this information at the end of the conversation, as soon as the other party hangs-up the telephone, but before you hang-up.

It's so good to find an organization like Fathers For Equal Rights that has experience going back to 1974!
  -- Chuck H. - Fort Worth, TX

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