Your Right to Privacy
Audio and video recording can be helpful in CPS cases. But both parents and CPS have to follow certain guidelines when recording. Caseworkers may record what parents say to use later in the investigation process. Caseworkers may also record interviews with children, other family members, and witnesses.
The Law on Recording
The New Jersey law on recording requires one party to consent to the recording, but there are exceptions to this rule. People cannot record you in a space you assumed to be private without you knowing. A clear example of this is a dressing room. Your home can also be a space you assumed to be private, meaning a caseworker could not secretly record you in your home and later use it against you. If you aware of the recording and do not object to it, however, CPS can record you in any situation.
There are other circumstances under which you do not have any control. For example, CPS caseworkers can go to your child’s school and record an interview with your child without your consent. Caseworkers can also record conversations with people who have information about your child and your family.
Use Recording to Your Advantage
Many parents don’t want to be recorded because they fear their words will be twisted and used against them. It is also an invasion of privacy. But recording can help you, too. If the caseworker has your exact words recorded, it is harder for him or her to twist those words in their favor. Technically, parents may record CPS caseworkers if they are a party to the conversation and at least one party consents. But think twice before secretly recording a caseworker. It’s best to ask caseworkers to record them and even get their signed consent. If they do not consent, you can limit what you say in front of them or refuse to let them in your home.
You should always speak with an attorney if you are facing allegations of child abuse and want to defend yourself. An attorney can tell you what CPS must do to record legally and how recording your interactions with CPS caseworkers can help you. You can even have your attorney present whenever you are face to face with caseworkers to ensure they don’t take advantage of you.
If you are under investigation for child abuse, the Williams Law Group, LLC is here to help. The experienced child abuse defense attorneys at Williams Law Group, LLC can help you achieve reunification. Located in Short Hills, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.