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Barrister
Barrister, Criminal Defense Law
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  16 years practicing criminal defense.
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I found a motion detector camera planted by my neighbor in

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I found a motion detector camera planted by my neighbor in the "common area" of my condo complex. It is pointed towards my driveway. I looked at the photos and videos and I see video of my wife on the deck on the phone. Is it legal for my neighbor to do this without consent? I live in Plymouth Massachusetts.
Hello and thank you for using JA! My goal is to provide you with excellent service and help with your legal problem.
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Was the camera pointed at an area that is out in the open in public?
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Is the deck able to be observed by someone who is in a public area?
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Is this strictly video or is there audio as well?
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Thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Yes, the (camouflaged) camera was pointed at the driveway shared by me and my neighbor. This is on private property. Signs are posted that say as such.


Yes, the deck is observable from the private driveway.


 


There are photos and videos, I don't know if there is audio at this time.


Thanks

Ok, from a purely legal perspective, this wouldn't be illegal as long as there was no sound recorded. Mass law states that in order for a conversation or sound recording to be legal, all parties to the conversation must consent for the recording. However, this doesn't cover video and if the person is pointing the camera towards an outdoor area where a person has no reasonable expectation of privacy, then it wouldn't be an invasion of privacy.
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Now if he was pointing it in the bedroom or bathroom window or any other window of your house, that would be an invasion of your privacy. But if someone is outside, even in their back yard, there is no reasonable expectation of privacy so a video recording is legal.
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So although creepy and intrusive for the neighbor to be doing this, it would not be illegal unless there was sound recorded as well.
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Thanks.

Barrister

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I cannot enter into an attorney client relationship, this is a public forum, and all posts are available for public viewing. There is no duty of confidentiality that attaches to any posts. The information provided is not a substitute for a local attorney’s legal advice.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for the info. It is very creepy. He is also the head of our condo association and we think he feels that he can do whatever he wants.


Thanks again

I would keep an eye out for other hidden cameras because it sure would be a shame if something happened to them as they are fairly expensive to replace....Small people like that sometimes get on a power trip and self appoint themselves the "hall monitors".
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You are very welcome.
Barrister
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