While I was reading this article, this line caught my eye:

Anyone seen videotaping in any capacity will be deemed trespassing and will be escorted out by security. Your video equipment may or may not be confiscated until all video recordings are destroyed.

As far as I can tell, unless the person has consented to such, most jurisdictions within the United States generally do not allow private entities to confiscate personal property, even from a trespasser.

Does the owner of this facility (located in Florida) have any legal authority to confiscate personal property? Am I missing something?

2 Answers 2


No, they cannot confiscate anything.

They say they can just to minimise the percentage of people who will disobey the filming prohibition. A sensible percentage of those who would otherwise ignore the prohibition will not question the legality of possible confiscation and will just obey the rules.


Flordia is a Two Party Consent State, which means that any recording made of a person must be agreed upon prior to the recording taking place. The statement is likely to inform people looking to show up at the auction that the people putting on the auction do not consent to recordings of them being made during the event. From the sound of it, the acution seems like it will be taking place on privately held property that is not ordinarily open to the public and may have more leeway in deleting the footage. Due to the nature of the acution's lots (exotic animals) there could be a police officer on hand to assist with unruly behavior (it would not surprise me if PETA has a protest here) who can conduct said search as he is aware of the auction company's withheld conscent and it could be reasonable that people found with cameras are unlawfully recording the acution. The other side of the private property issue is that there could be a contract or some other legal agreement stating that participating in the acution is to wave your rights against this practice if caught.

  • I don't believe a police officer can do anything unless an actual crime has been committed. However from what I can see "criminal trespass" only occurs if you go somewhere you are specifically prohibited from entering. AFAIK if they allow you in its not criminal trespass even if you then do something they have banned. Commented Apr 26, 2019 at 15:11
  • @PaulJohnson - If you invite someone in, then rescind the invitation, refusing to leave is criminal trespass. Not that it matters as I did not discuss Trespass law, but violating consent to be filmed.
    – hszmv
    Commented Apr 26, 2019 at 15:14
  • I mentioned criminal trespass because you talked about police and it looked like the only crime that might be committed. So I agree that if the security staff catch you taking photos and tell you to leave then you have to do so, but up to that point you have not committed a crime as far as I can see, so any policeman is not going to be involved. Commented Apr 26, 2019 at 15:19
  • I've just looked up the law about "2 person consent". This page jacksonvillecriminallawyerblog.com/… says that the consent rule doesn't apply to crowded places, as anyone having a conversation would expect to be overheard and hence have no expectation of privacy. Commented Apr 26, 2019 at 15:24
  • It is not in contention that a person who is conditionally allowed entry onto private property by the property owner can be considered trespassing if they act in a manner that the owner considers unwanted. However, original text as written, "security" suggests private security guards, not police. As I understand it, without some form of consent or contractual agreement that allows personal property to be confiscated in the event of a violation, only police can confiscate personal property, and only if there is probable cause. This question is to confirm whether this is indeed this is the case.
    – bwDraco
    Commented Apr 26, 2019 at 15:55

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