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    lvera's Avatar
    lvera Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Jun 29, 2016, 06:00 PM
    Verbal harassment from neighbor
    Neighbor in apartment complex for the past three years has been verbally harassing me with intimidating comments etc. Apartment manager says what I complain about is hearsay and I need to record them but state first under the state of Michigan I have to let you know this conversation is being recorded. Yeah what a joke. Like they are harassing me not me interviewing them. What are my rights and what can I do?
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,304, Reputation: 7692
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    #2

    Jun 29, 2016, 06:07 PM
    Hire an attorney, bring a tort law suit against neighbor and landlord.

    Review laws about taping or recording in public places.
    ma0641's Avatar
    ma0641 Posts: 15,681, Reputation: 1012
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    #3

    Jun 30, 2016, 08:51 AM
    Has anyone else heard the "harassing"?
    AK lawyer's Avatar
    AK lawyer Posts: 12,592, Reputation: 977
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    #4

    Jun 30, 2016, 09:17 AM
    ... verbally harassing me with intimidating comments etc. ...
    I don't know what you mean by harassing. Repeatedly talking to you over and over (i.e.: nagging), even when you indicate that you want the person to leave you alone, is probably not actionable. On the other hand, "intimidating comments" may constitute a threat of illegal action of some sort, for which you could perhaps take legal action against the person. We would have to know what exactly was said.

    ... Apartment manager says what I complain about is hearsay ...
    It's seldom a good idea to take legal advice from cops or (in this case) from apartment managers. It may or may be hearsay, but there are exceptions to the hearsay rule, so what was said might be admissible anyway.
    ebaines's Avatar
    ebaines Posts: 12,132, Reputation: 1307
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    #5

    Jun 30, 2016, 10:02 AM
    Actually MI law is a bit unsettled on this. There is a law against recording while eavesdropping on a conversation, but at least one court has ruled that a participant in a conversation is not an eavesdropper and so may record without the other person's knowledge. Unfortunately the MI Supreme Court has not affirmed that interpretation, so there is still some uncertainty. See: Michigan Recording Law | Digital Media Law Project
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
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    #6

    Jun 30, 2016, 11:04 AM
    OK based on what ebaines found, you can record. Do you have a smartphone? Does it have a recorder app? If not you should be able to download one put it on your main screen so you can just thumb it on. Whether it will be admissible will be up to the court. But I doubt if you will get in trouble for making the recording.

    Or it could be the deterrent you are looking for. The next time the neighbor starts harassing you, pull out your smartphone point it at him and press record. He will ask what you are doing and you tell him you are collecting evidence for court. This may just scare him away. But, at worse he will physically attack you and then you go to the police or hospital to swear out a complaint. (Note; if you go to the hospital, don't let them clean you up until the police collect evidence, or you might ask the hospital to do the equivalent of a rape kit.)

    While the apartment manager isn't the best person to ask for legal advice, he does have a point that its not their problem. As long as neither of you are damaging the premises, he is out of the picture.
    cdad's Avatar
    cdad Posts: 12,696, Reputation: 1438
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    #7

    Jun 30, 2016, 01:46 PM
    You actually have it wrong when it comes to the law. You may be within your rights to record the conversation. The law your quoting is for eavesdropping.

    Quoted from another page.

    Michigan Wiretapping Law

    Michigan law makes it a crime to "use[] any device to eavesdrop upon [a] conversation without the consent of all parties." Mich. Comp. Laws 750.539c. This looks like an "all party consent" law, but one Michigan Court has ruled that a participant in a private conversation may record it without violating the statute because the statutory term "eavesdrop" refers only to overhearing or recording the private conversations of others. See Sullivan v. Gray, 342 N.W. 2d 58, 60-61 (Mich. Ct. App. 1982). The Michigan Supreme Court has not yet ruled on this question, so it is not clear whether you may record a conversation or phone call if you are a party to it. But, if you plan on recording a conversation to which you are not a party, you must get the consent of all parties to that conversation. In addition, 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.


    Ref:
    Michigan Recording Law | Digital Media Law Project
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
    Computer Expert and Renaissance Man
     
    #8

    Jun 30, 2016, 04:37 PM
    The issue of recording comes into play when you try to use the recording. So how you use it will have a bearing. If you try to use a recording as evidence in a court case, the recording may be disallowed, but I doubt if you would be prosecuted for it.

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