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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 34346
Experience:  16 yrs. of trial experience
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This would be specific to Ohio. I have two questions. 1.

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This would be specific to Ohio. I have two questions.

1. I am wondering about the use of surveillance cameras. Basically we are using the one we have at our lake property. It can view the water to the west where inclement weather might come from so we can observe when we are not there. We can also look inside our cottage for security reasons. the property outside is shared by others but we are not viewing anyone else's cottages, just the water and some of the land at the waterfront. Some are thinking we should not be allowed to be using it. We are not recording and not using sound option. Are we within our rights to have this camera?
2. I am wondering about a camera in my Mother's room at an Assisted Living facility. If I'm not recording sound, can I have a camera there, as long as it is not in a private area like, bedroom or bathroom. It would be in the living room only so we can check on our Mother occasionally. this would also be in Ohio.
Thanks, Rita
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

Can you tell me, will you have the permission of the assisted living facility and your mom to place this camera? Or was the intent to place one without notifying anyone?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ideally I would like to do it without anyone knowing. I want to make sure she is getting proper care. I am concerned though, if they determine the camera is there they could ask we remove her from the facility.

Thank you

Just a moment, I want to pull the statutes that apply...
Thank you for your patience

I will address the questions in order: The law that applies is found at Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2907.08 (this deals with videotaping) and Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2933.51 and § 2933.52 (this deals with recording conversations in is focused on audio...but can also apply to videotaping, even without sound).

1. With respect to your property and placing a video camera on your property to record your property and the area surrounding your property? No issue. At all. This comes from two separate statutes

Fist is 2907.08. This statute prohibits recording (with video with or without audio) when the recording is made "for sexual gratification". Basically this statute is designed to prevent "peeping tom's".

Second is § 2933.51 and § 2933.52. Taken together, these statutes prevent recording a person where there is a "reasonable expectation of privacy". Basically, in order to record a conversation, and this can include a videotaped conversation, you need consent of one of the parties.

What you describe? Since the area you would be filming would be "open space"...subject to observation by most anyone, and specifically on your property, there is no reasonable expectation of privacy. SO no need to get consent from anyone. Film problem at all

2. The second circumstance is more complex. Since this is a private room, you would need to have the consent of one of the parties to the conversation. Even if you are not capturing sound, the way the OH law is structured, they can prosecute if they can show you recorded a conversation, in a place where the parties had a reasonable expectation of privacy, if you do not have permission of at least one of the participants

Now...this is easy to overcome, if you get mom to agree to this? Then there is no issue at all.

But if you place it without permission/consent from mom, or from the other participant to the conversation? Then you risk prosecution under § 2933.52

Let me know if you have more questions...happy to assist if I can
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your help.

Yes Ma'am

Thank you and best of luck