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Can my neighbors give a video of my party to a city attorney for prosecution? Can we take counter legal action?

Riverside, CA |

We hosted a party at our house on 5/31/14 for a college graduation. Officers came to our door because of a report of underage drinking and upon talking to them they said there didn't seem to be an issue and left. We received an anonymous note 6/4/2014 that reads: "Video was taken of your party on Saturday. Please cease all parties immediately or video will be given to the City ATTORNEY FOR PROSECUTION!". The video was taken unknowingly and without any consent. All that were in attendance were inside the house or in the backyard and any alcohol was consumed only by those over the age of 21.

Our backyard is completely fenced in and not in view of any neighbors unless they were to put a camera over the fence to record.

Attorney Answers 4


A citizen produced video probably can be used as evidence if it supports a crime, even if it comes within the definition of a "wiretap".
It it is a wiretap, you don't know who did it, nor do you know if it was in fact done. Not much to be done at this point. If it is turned over maybe you were a victim of crime, but it might be difficult to convince a DA to put resources into prosecution. Further, just being video or audio recorded isn't necessarily a crime, you might not have had a reasonable expectation of privacy since your back yard is probably public to the neighbors.
It would be best if you didn't discuss the party with law enforcement or anyone else (except your attorney). For all you know younger guests were enjoying a cold beverage when not being supervised.

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There are interesting issues raised here regarding privacy and your incurring civil/criminal liability. Of course, there is not enough information set out here to respond. A qualified attorney may be able to assist upon your providing additional information.

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What other information would you suggest I add to aid others in better answering my questions?


Can your neighbors give a video to the City Attorney? Yes. Will that video contain evidence admissible in a court of law that might subject you to criminal or civil liability is another matter and one that only an experienced criminal defense attorney can properly handle. Retain counsel ASAP. This is not something you can resolve by simply posting the issue on AVVO.

San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney--19 years experience. Law Offices of Jay S. Finnecy

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The short answer to your question is "yes", they can give the video to the City Attorney.

Don't answer any questions, don't call these people, you need to have an attorney do it for you. Your attorney can protect you in this situation.

Congratulations on the Graduation, by the way.
Charles Kelly Kilgore
Beverly Hills

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