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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    6

    Default Video Surveillance

    My question involves civil rights in the State of: Washington


    Recently a dispute with a neighbor has caused me to install video
    surveillance for our front yard. Since we live in a townhouse, only a
    fence separates us. I live with my wife and two kids, and recently
    his hostile attitude has us concerned for our safety, and that's why
    the cameras are installed.

    Yesterday, he walked outside and took three pictures of the camera,
    claiming he was going to sue me for "Infringing on his rights."

    Previously we contacted the police and have a report of his harassing
    comments before installing the camera, and I spoke with the responding
    officer yesterday, and he said we have nothing to worry about, but
    maybe do some research online, so here I am.

    If he takes me to court, I will lose time from my job, and possible my
    wife and I will have to endure and cost of child care for our 1-year
    old and 3-years old.

    Does he have any chance in court? And what about our losses if we
    have to go to court?

    Much regards from the Evergreen State.

    --tj

  2. #2
    panther10758 Guest

    Default Re: Video Surveillance

    If the cameras are of your yard only and not intruding towards windows etc of neighbors home your fine.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Video Surveillance

    If this camera is capable of recording audio, but is disabled, is that ok? It's the only camera I have available.

    It points towards our walkway, but may also see parts of their walkway through the fence, but this isn't the current position.
    --tj

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    3,835

    Default Re: Video Surveillance

    Quote Quoting techjohhny
    View Post
    If this camera is capable of recording audio, but is disabled, is that ok? It's the only camera I have available.

    It points towards our walkway, but may also see parts of their walkway through the fence, but this isn't the current position.
    --tj

    The fact he took pictures of it means it is "open and obvious" to any invitee/passerby/trespasser. As Panther points out, as long as it is not focused mainly on a personal area, such as a bedroom window, but a common area, you are fine.

    He has no grounds to sue. If he does hire a lawyer to defend you and countersue for Abuse of Process.

    AOP is where a person sues you, with no recognizable Cause of Action, just to harass/intimidate you.

    Similar to SLAPP suits; Strategic lawsuits against public participation.

    You bad mouth my company, I shut you up with the threat of a lawsuit, time, money etc.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Video Surveillance

    Quote Quoting BOR
    View Post
    The fact he took pictures of it means it is "open and obvious" to any invitee/passerby/trespasser. As Panther points out, as long as it is not focused mainly on a personal area, such as a bedroom window, but a common area, you are fine.

    He has no grounds to sue. If he does hire a lawyer to defend you and countersue for Abuse of Process.

    AOP is where a person sues you, with no recognizable Cause of Action, just to harass/intimidate you.

    Similar to SLAPP suits; Strategic lawsuits against public participation.

    You bad mouth my company, I shut you up with the threat of a lawsuit, time, money etc.
    What about the microphone on this camera?

  6. #6
    panther10758 Guest

    Default Re: Video Surveillance

    You said its diabled.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Video Surveillance

    Yes, so I would have to prove this in court?

  8. #8
    panther10758 Guest

    Default Re: Video Surveillance

    Even if working what would it record? A conversation in "your" yard? Hardly invasion of privacy. Your neighbor is blowing smoke up your rear. If your that worried remove the mic

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    3,835

    Default Re: Video Surveillance

    Quote Quoting techjohhny
    View Post
    What about the microphone on this camera?

    If you are not a party to the conversation, you need not give warning as it is NOT between 2 or more people. IF you are a party to it, to be safe, announce he IS being tape recorded per statute, OR as you understand this law:

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=9.73.030


    As far as I can determine, a camera device mounted for safety purposes does not fall under this section anyway? MOST companies, like a store, doing business today have video/audio recordings for safety etc. I seriously doubt they give warning before entering the premises, maybe some do?

    It is not like a telephone interception or a conversation where there is a "reasonable expectation of privacy" the neighbor enjoys.

    Read some case law at the library where they have the WA code. Look up the section I cited and after it read some annotations.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Video Surveillance

    Update:

    I do anticipate receiving papers to goto court. I guess this would be a civil complaint? I'm not sure how much he could sue me for, but I will continue to keep the camera rolling. I will continue to protect my family from his harassment and intimating. Since the camera were installed, there is no more fear going in our front yard.

    If I goto court, is it recommended I have a lawyer present, or should I just represent myself? I'm really not looking forward to paying attorney fees for trying to protect my family.

    Will I need to bring the camera to court as evidence? It operates perfectly fine without a microphone attached, and that's its current status. Should I request the police officer to goto court as a witness?

    Thanks a million for everybody's advice and expertise.

    Much regards,

    --tj

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