Making The Complex

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Father facing jail time in child custody case

Parents who are unable to work out a custody agreement may find themselves in front of a Louisiana court to have the matter settled. In such cases, all parties are expected to adhere to the rules of the court. Failure to do so can place either side at risk of being found in contempt of court or even charged with a crime. In a recent case, a man from another state was sentenced to prison time for recording a portion of his child custody case. 

The man attended a custody conference inside a county courtroom with his former wife. Signs in the building stated that there could be no cell phone use in the area. During the meeting, the man used his phone to record a portion of the conference. 

A court employee observed the man’s phone recording and advised the man that his actions were illegal. A sheriff’s deputy was called, at which time the father ran from the building. He then posted the recording on Facebook. 

The man was arrested and charged with illegal wiretapping. A jury sentenced him to between 11 and 23 months in prison for the crime. The man appealed, but the higher court agreed that he had violated the law and should serve time. 

Many people in Louisiana and elsewhere may feel that individuals have a right to record legal matters in which they are involved. However, courts usually prohibit recordings in child custody matters to protect the privacy of the child at the center of the matter. Regardless of how one feels about the rules of the court, it is important to follow them, as this case illustrates. 

Source:, “Dad deserves jail term for recording child custody hearing, Pa. court says“, Matt Miller, Jan. 4, 2018


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