—Covert Affairs in Chicago
“The covert recording of an interview with a prospective unit purchaser is an entirely different matter. The fact that the interview included a non-association member and likely took place privately (setting aside any question of whether it is association business that must take place at an open meeting) means that all of the participants to the interview would have to give their express consent to render the recording legal.
“The eavesdropping law provides for both criminal and civil enforcement. A first offense is a Class 4 felony and a party suing in civil court may obtain an injunction against further recording and/or monetary damages if a violation is proven. For these reasons, the best practice for prospective recorders would always be to obtain express consent of all participants. In the scenario above, the board’s options include contacting law enforcement to report the recordings as possible crimes, or taking legal action directly. The board could also adopt rules requiring notice by an owner recording a meeting. The board could also discuss the matter with the person who made the recordings with an eye toward resolving differences and preventing any future violations, which may be the best choice toward fostering a good relationship among board members and unit owners. This choice would also preserve the parties’ right to report or sue over past or future recording if necessary. Unfortunately, these options do not address the possibility that the purchaser could take action, as well.”