Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGLO 1977 NO. 16 > Apr 8 1977

(1) Mere sounds, as distinguished from verbal conversation, occurring in connection with an event where a police officer is issuing a citation to a citizen on a public street do not constitute "private conversations" within the meaning of RCW 9.73.030(2).

(2) Verbal conversations occurring in connection with such an event may fall within the scope of a "private conversation" depending upon whether the factual circumstances are such as to indicate that at least one of the conversants reasonably intended that the conversation was to be for the ears of the participants only.

(3) The fact that the parties to a "private conversation" are aware that such conversation is being recorded does not constitute "consent" for the purposes of RCW 9.73.030(2) except to the limited extent provided for therein with respect to certain recordings by the news media.