Q&A with Bruce Cholst

Habitat magazine

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As a property manager, I’m concerned about attorneys, inspectors, and anyone other than police asking to view our surveillance camera footage for any reason. Recently we had a person hit by a car in front of the building. The pedestrian’s lawyer is requesting our footage. I think I should have some sort of short liability waiver upon providing that footage, stating that we accept no liability for the quality, viewed areas, ability for them to obtain the information needed, and for any wrongful dissemination of the information on their part, etc. Does anyone else share this concern? What kind of indemnification form would cover this?

This is an issue which arises frequently, and your concern over indiscriminately sharing the building’s surveillance tapes with outside parties is valid. However, as a practical matter, no outside party will provide you with a liability waiver because they are not under any legal obligation to do so. I typically advise my client buildings to respond to such requests by saying that it is the board’s policy to release surveillance tapes only upon presentation of a subpoena. Production of these records under compunction of a judicial subpoena absolves the building of any legal liability surrounding the release. You may also send a letter with the tapes, disclaiming responsibility for the condition of the tapes or for abuse of their confidential nature.

To read the full article:  Q&A on surveillance tapes

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