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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
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Experience:  All corporate law, including non-profits and charitable fraternal organizations.
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Coop (NYC) question: I sit in a walker in front of my building. T

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Coop (NYC) question: I sit in a walker in front of my building. There are security cameras. I have been assaulted before and asked one guard to let me see video so I could image person. He did. Another time someone touched my mobility vehicle in the building and I saw them enter elevator and I asked M/A for image of person. I was told not without a police report. Not wanting to get that person formally in trouble (I was going to ask him not to touch my personal property and if he denied it show him the image. He did deny it) no police report filed. I asksed the board president if I could expect security to keep an eye on me while in front and was told yes. Recently someone accosted me in front of the building and I asked security what they saw. I was told it isnt part of our duties to view the security screen (with multiple camera views). I asked another guard if he could access drive (they used to be able to) and he told me that after my incident (guess I am the only one) they took the mouse away and told security to leave the recorder alone. I gave 2 notes (over 2 weeks) to the board president to see an image of the person (so I could take a picture) and he has ignored me. Anything I can do (that is effective)? I am disabled if that matters. I sit in front for a reason (security one of them. What else is the equipment for?). Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  BizIPEsq. replied 1 year ago.

BizIPEsq. :

Hello, I will be assisting you

BizIPEsq. :

Your situation is terrible. What is your legal question?

Customer:

Never mind.

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I am sorry if you had difficulty with your system.

Your inquiry is one regarding premises liability of the building owners and association. If you would still like an answer, please let us know and we are still happy to assist you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I need help in dealing with the board. I dont know if there is any legal liability however I am not trying to hold them liable. I do expect they help. I dont know why they would not help with video, or tell security to be security. What is it to them if an image helps? I want them to feel some responsbility for imaging of what may go on in front of the building? Is there any thing I CAN expect from them? If NOT please just say no. I will then send a building wide memo out asking what purpose does this equipment serve and what is security suppose to do?

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question.

Let us start with the legal generality that the owner of the building does not insure the safety of the occupants. However, when a building does provide security, they are bound to do so in a non-negligent manner. Thus, it is possible that if they are not properly manning the cameras you could hold them liable for negligence in providing security.

As far as the ownership of the videos themselves, these belong to the building who is paying for the equipment and security, the association. If you are a shareholder in the association, you are entitled to make a demand to see the property and records of the association, which is what you are doing in making the request to see the video. They are likely seeking to refuse to provide the video because it is evidence in a legal action for which they may be liable and as such they have a right to not allow shareholders to view the video.

However, the police can indeed get the video with a subpoena or warrant. You should be reporting these crimes against you to the police and the police will get the video. If you are choosing not to report to the police, then the association can make you file suit and get a subpoena because the videos really are evidence that they may be performing their security duty to you that they have undertaken in a negligent manner and they could be liable to you based on that negligence for any of your injury or damage (I know you do not want to hold them liable, but legally they are liable for any negligent provision of security).



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Customer: replied 1 year ago.


much better thank you. Board pres told security to tell me he was responding later. If no problem I would like to contact you after his response. Thank you agin.

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response.

Yes, you can come back and contact me at anytime using "reply to expert"
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

April 20 I am accosted. After speaking with various security to sit down and review the tape (now, cannot be done because security told to leave machine alone AND mouse removed even if they wanted to help), I place a note (April 23) under board pres door saying what happened and I wanted to review tape and didnt need a copy (I can copy it with a camera. Excuse I heard last time was to get a copy I needed a police report and was prevented from seeing it). I heard nothing and gave security a note for him (May 2) with a big question mark and a PS. asking if I waited long enough? I added that I did not need a police report to view the tape. I asked he tell me when I could review tape. Sunday (May 5. It got lost in some papers) he leave a note with security for me. It has no date (he never puts dates on his replies to me) and says he had the best of intentions but got busy at work (perhaps a comment that I dont go to work) and says 'In any event' he spoke with the managing agent and will bring up my request at the board meeting this week. My response would have been: There was a protocol in place for such events that was appropriate and timely, however you took that away by telling security not to access hard drive and removing the mouse. WHY? Then I would have asked if that portion of the h/d was secured (kept from overwrite)? I ask you please to give me something to reply (I havent yet) that has teeth to it? Can you? Something that will put the 'board (he could have decided this on his own)' on notice that I know what the rules should be and I need this accessible if there is a next time. I also dont know how any of this helps if the tape is recorded over? He made NO mention as to that. At least tell me tape is secured and then make this an issue of who likes whom. He had enough time to wait for the tape to be recorded over. He also made no mention of my comments that security was told it was not part of their duties to watch the security video and the superintendent did not think it an emergency to access the tape, or protect it and tell me he was not in charge of the front of the building and to not bother him unless it is an emergency. Please help. I dont need to be treated this way and I dont think I am expecting an inappropriate thing from security cameras that to me are useless. Also, if WHO accosted me is of any import, please let me know, but I dont think the fact I and they know him should be. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Per my May 7 reply: Security told me watching the security video screen was not a part of their duties (when I asked if he saw what happened on the security screen). Also, if I do not follow up (something they know is not easy for me) I receive no response and am ignored. I have lived here for 25 years and became disabled 10 years ago (it took them a year and a half to place transition strips at the elevator and lobby landings for my rollator with all kind of excuses why it wasnt being done and you should hear what they told me about my mobility vehicle. No the ADA cannot do much except make the board angry I filed a complaint).

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Re May 6 reply to me: I told the police what happened: That he came up to me in an 'excited (waving his arms from side to side and in a hurry like he was going to fight) manner making various comments (I am sueing him in small claims court for vandalism and theft of property). I told him to stop speaking to me and leave me alone. On the fourth time he said it didnt matter (that I had told him four times now to leave me alone) and he took out a cell telephone and said he was recording me. I got up to go to the lobby (to call police) and he followed me. The police asked if he threatened me and I said no. They said I should call 911 if he does this again (so I am to be outside which is difficult enough, waiting for a possible confrontation and unable to enjoy being outside which doctors want me to do?). Please, I need to know how to respond to the board so they respect my concerns. Is this possible? The last time I accessed this security set up was 2 years ago and all I did was get images of the person (someone else) who assaulted me then (the police told me again they could do nothing; since the person only grabbed both my arms, even as I was yelling POLICE and I thought trying to take my camera, which was by my arm). Security then told me they could not see me. When the tape was accessed, through another security guard, it was quite clear what happened. The first security guard was sleeping and not viewing the tape. He yelled at me then for bothering him.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Sorry. Over the years I have asked for a 'Duties list' for security; what is it residents can and cannot expect of them. Over the years I have been ignored and never received anything and responses (if any) are piecemeal. Additionally, they has been no building wide memorandum stating/explaining what is to be expected of security staff, especially in the event (s) I am currently involved with. Your not informed what not to expect so how do you know what TO expect? I can ask for such a memo to cover these issues, but it will be ignored.

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your replies.

You need to tell the board that they have undertaken the duty to provide security and they are now doing so in a negligent manner which has led to you suffering harm and not only does security not prevent you from suffering harm as they are supposed to, but now they will not even respond after the fact and allow you to see the video.

That is all you can really tell them if they got angry over your ADA complaint, because if you tell them that if they do not start cooperating with you then you will sue them for negligence for the poor security they provide they will get even madder at you.

Second, and I said this above already. Every time you are assaulted, you must call the police and file a report and press charges if they catch he person. Your failure to do this part can lead to the building being able to raise the defense that these are not real criminal assaults against you and you are simply complaining because people come up and talk to you (and I have see these associations raise just these types of defenses).

Finally, they do not have to put out any memorandum regarding what their staff must do or what they do not have to do to the residents I am afraid. There is no requirement for this, despite it making good business sense.

As I said, the video belongs to the association, as an association shareholder, you can ask to inspect records of the association, so make a formal written request to inspect the video which is a record of the association.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Thank you. In this case, the person was a neighbor I am suing. I think they had reviewed the tape already and saw him.


 


What if I hear, sorry you contacted us too late and the tape has been recorded over? IF they had allowed me access as has happened before, this would be a non issue. Can I comment on that?

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
You need to send them what is known as a preservation of electronic evidence letter, informing them of what video is considered evidence and that if they fail to maintain or preserve it they can be liable to sanctions and monetary penalties from the court.

Here is a sample of an electronic evidence preservation letter (along with some other documents you may or may not eventually need). See: Electronic Preservation Letter.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Thank you. Too late for that, I take it I cannot expect them to provide me a duties list for security? And even though the board pres tells me I can expect security to view the security screen, what if they dont? Same 'non-negligent' manner issue? They will tell me what the superintendent did: They are not in charge of the front of the building. I guess they can just do as they wish? I relize you dont want me to be in a worse position by telling me something I can use that may make them more upset with me? Who cares about my situation?

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
I do understand, but you still need to send the letter and if they destroy it, then you could seek large money damages from them, so send it regardless of what you think will happen.

The same negligence issue applies if they have security cameras that are supposed to be monitored. If they are not supposed to be monitored (not now, but at the time your incident happened) then they could not be negligent in how they monitored them.

I do not want you to be in a worse position, but you have to take steps to preserve your rights if you are suing and want the evidence or want to hold them liable.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 88660
Experience: All corporate law, including non-profits and charitable fraternal organizations.
Law Educator, Esq. and 8 other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I sent the first letter and it was ignored.


 


I will ask other questions about the co op. I realize I go on. No need to reply unless


 


you want to. Thank you,

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you very much.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 88660
Experience: All corporate law, including non-profits and charitable fraternal organizations.
Law Educator, Esq. and 8 other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
FYI?, The board would not address my issue. It was dismissed. I started walking on floors for some exercise so not to be in front of building at risk. The superintendent told me I was tying up the elevator and he was getting complaints by residents asking why I was listening at their doors and that I had to stop it. Do I have to tell you that I have no interest in listening at anyones door, nor do I know most of these people. Why would I do this at all? If someone is playing loud music, their neighbor AND anyone in the common (thats quite the joke) area would hear it. And I was refused hearing who was complaining? All of this going on at 2AM.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
I am sorry to hear you are going through this and it appears they are trying to now harass or intimidate you because you were seeking information from the board. There is no rule or law about you walking the halls and as far as them complaining you are listening at doors, then would have to present the witnesses to that allegation.

If they keep up the harassment, you would need to consider filing a harassment suit against the board and association to stop this conduct.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 88660
Experience: All corporate law, including non-profits and charitable fraternal organizations.
Law Educator, Esq. and 8 other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you

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