Self bought, owned lapel camera with audio capability. Never used it illegally aware of the laws and open records act etc if you use a device for work related purposes.

It was for self protection against a ex and her friend or fling who is in law enforcement. Obviously it would be used and turned on in public spaces if I was approached to save character or false accusations since I had harassment from her before and she used her department and boyfriend as bias to harass me. She was terminated for illegal activity BTW year later from that entity.

Long story short I received a cease order of use of any cell phone recording device, audio, video. The employer claims they own any audio or video of private acts on it.

It is a public governemnt entity. My experience is local law enforcement had bias due to a ex who was employed by them and seeing someone there which threats, intimidation and harassment occured on my own property by them.

All in all private use, explained to others I have no interest in them being recorded or its purpose wasnt for them.

Is it legal for a local government employer to speculate use and claim ownership of personal use data in public for private self protection reasons in which tech they are part of the law enforcement and their attorney, threaten seizure of private use cell phone, audionvideo devices never used for work related purposes or the audio video lapel recorder.

Some would joke robocop and it was handy I had it on vest so it wouldn't fall out or be stolen as I had a audio recorder stolen before when it fell out of a jacket vest onto the seat of the work vehicle and someone swiped it up within ten minutes. I had this in event my ex approached me on personal matters in open public spaces.

Where does use of audio and recording devices for personal protection in public accessible spaces fall under illegal search and seizure and threats to seize for just having it in open public claiming ownership of self bought devices capable of recording in open space public accessible on public property over a supposed concerned public employee being seen or viewed by recordings in public?

I even told several it's use was for personal interest not involving them, or the governemnt entity.

The order gave a week to hand over everything data wise and it isn't a warrant, or court order and they claim ownership of the data if it exists, and called filming or audio in public vouyerism, stalking, harassment but said it can be "seen" as that in public accessible public property spaces.

Where I am it is a one side consent state if that helps to answering it.

I contacted several attorneys and none have got back minus 3 which didn't practice it or said they weren't interested.

  • The important factor is expectation of privacy.
    – A. K.
    Commented Sep 20, 2018 at 0:12
  • If I am talking to someone 50ft from any other person I can expect privacy.
    – A. K.
    Commented Sep 20, 2018 at 0:53

1 Answer 1


Assuming you aren't working in a government job involving especially sensitive information (intelligence, military, tax), I'd be surprised if your actions in recording yourself going about your job could be considered anything other than First Amendment-protected activity. Most courts agree that people have the right to record government officials going about their business, although it's a somewhat trickier question because of the fact that the officials attempting to stop you may be doing so in their capacity as employer rather than law enforcement.

Still -- and regardless of what rights you have to record -- this also raises a really interesting question from a freedom-of-information perspective. Depending on what jurisdiction you're in, it may be that by creating a record of yourself going about fulfilling your obligations in public employment, you've created a record subject to the state's public-records laws. If that's the case, then the government may, in fact, have not just a right but a duty to take custody of the original recordings.

It might seem strange because you made the recordings on your own initiative using your own tapes or whatever, but you might think of it like someone who brought their own paper into the office and then used it to type up correspondence or the agency's budget. Or if an employee brought in a VHS cassette and stuck it in the office's surveillance system for a day. Those are still the government's records, even if an employee decided to create them using personal media.

It's a really weird situation all-around. I hate to say it since you're already trying with no luck, but you probably need to just find a lawyer to sort it all out for you.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .