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Board Confidentiality vs. Government InquiriesDec 22, 2019

If the Department of Buildings, NYPD, or Fire Department was investigating violations or other matters,, and the Board had otherwise confidential information that would be of assistance, could it be freely disclosed?
(This is a hypothetical)

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Confidentiality - Marty Dec 24, 2019

I'm checking with the Board's attorney before I disclose anything.

I worked for a law enforcement agency. This sounds like a 3rd party request for info, meaning that the original agency with the info (the co-op) would have to give permission to the agency requesting the info (DOB, NYPD, FDNY, etc) before the info could be disclosed.

To me, confidential information that would be of assistance is not necessarily the same as information that is mandatory to disclose. I do not think the confidential info SHB disclosed.

See what your lawyer says.

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Board Confidentiality vs. Government Inquiries - H. Dec 25, 2019

Maybe I watch too many police procedurals (binging “ Bull”) but indulge me.
What if the police are urgently investigating a crime in an apartment and can’t locate the shareholder. A Board member has the purchase application that includes family contacts, employer information..) it can’t be shared without delay?

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Confidentiality - Marty Dec 26, 2019

That's why I made a distinction between "being of assistance" vs. what you now describe as "investigating a crime." Big difference.

If someone needed to enter the apartment, then I'd say that most co-ops have emergency contact information for shareholders, including the name and number of a person who had an extra key.

As a Board member, I have every legal obligation to protect our shareholders' privacy. That's why I'd be checking with our Board's attorney before I disclose any information a 3rd party.

You must have had a specific circumstance in mind when you asked your question. Why don't you just ask about it and maybe someone can give you an absolute answer?

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Board Confidentiality vs. Law Enforcement - H. Jan 03, 2020

A hypothetical -What if the police were going door to door in the
building, on a weekend, asking for information on the whereabouts of a shareholder who is a crime suspect. If a Board member had the
purchase application with family contacts, and good friends who wrote letters of recommendation, could that be disclosed to the police?

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Confidentiality-Marty - peoples choice #1 Jan 04, 2020

Does your board know you are contacting the co-ops attorney for personal reasons Marty? Who ever's question this is, the police can check the names on the buzzer console or call the super/managing agent. Everything is posted in the lobby entry way. So the police, fire dept. or family and friends have the names and apt.#s Whether you rent or live in a co-op or condo.

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> Join the conversation Comments (2)
Confidentiality - Marty Jan 05, 2020

I would certainly check with my fellow Board members to get their input and get a consensus before contacting the attorney.

By doing so, it becomes a Board decision and not just my own.

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Board Confidentiality and Law Enforcement - H. Jan 05, 2020

In my hypothetical, the police KNOW the name of the shareholder. But he is a crime suspect and they are urgently trying to find him. Add to the scenario that the Managing Agent’s office is closed.

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Board confidentiality - Marty Jan 06, 2020

Since the police are looking for a suspect, I think the Board should cooperate with the police in any way possible to help them do their job.

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Being proactive - Board Confidentiality vs. Government Inquiries - Steven424 Jan 30, 2020

Considering all the different possibilities and permutations of requests and responses, this is a good question to ask your board attorney *before* you have to deal with it directly, possibly in an emergency. Your attorney should know, or at least be able to find out for you what you are required to disclose and under what circumstances.

This would also make an excellent article for Habitat to have one of its legal contributors put together. Just sayin'... ;-)

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bullying by the board - Ellen Feb 06, 2020

I live in a 8 unit coop. A few years ago we had the neighbors from hell - they were running a carpentry shop from their basement using all kinds of VOCs and toxic chemicals; in the midst of this, a tree from the same neighbors rental building fell on my fence and into my backyard and the landlord would not do anything to rectify the situation. In addition, he was renting to a college students who did not understand the basics about how to be good neighbors in terms of noise, parties, etc. Most of this affected me, being located on the first floor on the side of the building next to this horrid neighbor. All this was very distressing and the coop board did not want to do anything to help make my space safe and livable because it really did not affect anyone else in the building.
In my efforts to reduce chemical exposure to myself and my son, I asked the board to assist. They would not and said so adamantly despite my efforts to engage them. At one point, in order to try to further make my case at a shareholders meeting, I asked if they had seen the photos that I had taken with the wood working products stashed right in the window outside my bedroom. The sarcastic response by the soon-to-be president was "I've seen it 100 times". At the same meeting, the current president made the announcement, unprovoked "no one wants to work with you". Then her husband called me disingenuous person. Things continued downhill from there to the point where I have been bad-mouthed, shunned and excoriated at various meetings that followed. I expressed that the ongoing bad mouthing of me at meetings was akin to bullying and scapegoating. (There are 2-3 board members that have been particularly ugly).
With all that said, I would like to know if there is anything that I can do to compel them to stop pouncing on me and attacking me publicly and personally for saying something that they simply do not agree with. Following a great deal of research and reading on the subject of bullying, I have learned that repeated intentional humiliation is a form of bullying. Is there anything that I can do legally to stop the public excoriations and allow me to come to meetings without the anxiety of public humiliation and would compel the board to stop these types of public and personal attacks?

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