Riverside, CA asked in Criminal Law and Civil Rights for California

Q: Can I install a security camera in the garage to make sure nobody tampers with my tools?

My roommate always has her boyfriend at the house whom I don’t know or trust

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Yes, in California you can legally install a security camera in the garage to monitor your tools, as long as certain conditions are met:

- The garage must be an area you have exclusive rights to access and control. If it is a shared garage with your roommate, you would need their consent to install a camera.

- The camera must be installed in a way that does not infringe on any reasonable expectation of privacy. For example, it should only capture video of the area where your tools are stored, not areas people would expect privacy like changing clothes.

- You should post visible signs indicating video surveillance is occurring. This puts people on notice that they are being recorded if they access that area.

- The camera should not capture any audio recordings without consent from those potentially captured on video. California requires all-party consent for audio recordings.

So in your situation, since it seems this is likely your exclusive space not shared with your roommate, installing a camera focused only on the area with your tools would generally be legal. Posting signs about the surveillance and disabling any audio recording features would keep it within CA laws. Consulting with your landlord for any additional rental rules may also be wise.

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