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coop puts surveillance camera on one apt only !Feb 20, 2013

our co-op has installed a camera that points at one apartment. There is no other such camera so placed anywhere else on the premises. The camera is on 24/7 on a live feed into the staff office. It also reveals the interior space of the apt when their front door is open. Obviously this is discriminatory and illegal but I interested in getting advice and responses in how to manage the situation.

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camera - alan Feb 21, 2013

The camera may not be illegal or discriminatory at all and the coop may have very sound reasons for locating it where it does. While it might be pointed at your door it may be picking up everything in the hallway and has been located in such a way as to maximize the area under surveillance because of some past problem. In any case anyone in a public hallway or who leaves their door open should have any expectation of privacy.

My suggestion is ask in writing why the coop has located the camera where it is. Perhaps they will give you an answer that is reasonable. Or if upon determining that there are other locations it can be located with equally good surveillance costs, you can offer to pay to move it.

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would have to install them in front of all doors for it not to be discrimination - MTD Feb 21, 2013

Hi Alan, That is not what I have read. They can't just do one door. One door is discriminatory. Especially if there is any history of different treatment or prior discrimination of the residents of the apt with the camera pointed at it. They would have to place cameras in all areas of hallways pointing at all doors for it to be non-discriminatory.

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Found this in a January 2013 issue of a coop magazine: bad faith - MTD Feb 21, 2013

“... attorney Dean Roberts of Norris McLaughlin & Marcus, P.A. “Residents do not have an expectation of privacy in common areas, hallways, lobbies, laundry rooms, so any security measure installed there is usually reasonable.” Roberts continues to say that security only can become a problem if say, a camera is pointed at the interior of a particular unit or measures target individual owners or shareholders.
.....“You couldn't use [security] to harass,” Goldstein adds. “In other words, if I don't like my neighbor, I can't decide, if I'm the board president, to set up a camera outside their apartment, just so they know they're being watched. That would be bad faith. Boards always have to act in good faith. They can't act in bad faith. So, something would be lawful so long as done in the best interests of the co-op. If it's meant as a vendetta or based on personal animus, automatically becomes illegal.”

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camera - alan Feb 22, 2013

Dean and I are in total agreement.

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alan, agree on what exactly? an attempt at eviction can be vendetta - NED Feb 23, 2013

see above . there is lots of animus in our bldg.

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camera - alan Feb 23, 2013

we agree that there may be a valid reason for camera location and if it is in the hallway and focused on hallway and closed doors there is not necessarily any invasion of privacy.

Ask the Board what their reasons are for locating it.

If they don't answer, you can waste money and sue (it will be very hard to win unless you find a smoking gun in discovery showing discriminatory behavior or a desire to invade your privacy) or you can opt to simply keep the door shut.

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alan - read it it says problem if pointed at interior of apt - NTD Feb 24, 2013

and remind us not to move into your building.
there is no reason for a camera to monitor residency if there are lobby entrance cameras.

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security camera - Joan Mar 08, 2013

It has come to my attention that even though there are security cameras every couple of feet most are just dummy ones and the only one working is directed at my apartment. Please advise

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Camera - ML Feb 21, 2013

Perhaps they are in an eviction process and trying to prove that the Shareholder is either not living there or maybe they are illegally subletting the apartment. Before you jump to conclusions, there may be a specific reason to the evidence that they are building on this particular unit.

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same residents in the apt for 30 years. - MTD Feb 22, 2013

no changes in all that time it is a family apartment. Same residents there since before it went coop. I suppose a co-op could try to mess with that. But they have little to stand on.

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Ny Law Journal 2010 - DTL Feb 27, 2013

NY Law Journal, 2010


“…..the business judgment rule will not insulate a board from liability where its actions are discriminatory or involve self-dealing—for example, where an apartment owner can demonstrate that he or she has been singled out for adverse treatment by a board decision to install security cameras only on some floors but not others."

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Very act of putting it on one coop apt is discriminatory - Valerie Mar 03, 2013

Sounds like they over-stepped themselves.

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