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Subject: Unit OWners meeting being taped???
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MichelleG7
(Connecticut)

Posts:6


01/12/2020 9:28 PM  
At our last unit owners meeting a unit owner got up said she taped the meeting and esited the building.. IS this legal?? we were not told the meeting was being taped. HELP>>> how to stop this from happening in the future?nd Can we do any legal action towards this owner?
PaulJ6
(New York)

Posts:579


01/13/2020 2:31 AM  
Posted By MichelleG7 on 01/12/2020 9:28 PM
At our last unit owners meeting a unit owner got up said she taped the meeting and esited the building.. IS this legal?? we were not told the meeting was being taped. HELP>>> how to stop this from happening in the future?nd Can we do any legal action towards this owner?




Just announce next time that recording is not allowed.

Not sure if it’s legal. Connecticut requires the consent of one party to a conversation for the conversation to be recorded. The owner will just claim that she was part of the conversation and consented, making it legal.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8922


01/13/2020 4:51 AM  
Many HOA's tape their meetings. Usually it is announced and approved by the board. Think if this was a general member they went about things the wrong way.

Illegal? Not so much. Most likely not going to go to jail over it. It's more in bad taste especially if they plan on posting it on social media. Which may be able to request it be blocked since it was not permitted or acknowledged.

People like to do things like this. However, they find out it's not necessarily admissible in a court of law. Especially if none of the parties agreed to being taped.

Former HOA President
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1877


01/13/2020 4:57 AM  
Depends on state law, obviously, but sounds legal.

What’s the issue with being recorded?
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3516


01/13/2020 5:16 AM  
IS this legal??


In Connecticut, it is legal to record in-person conversations with the consent of only one party to the conversation.
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3516


01/13/2020 5:20 AM  
In my town they have been taping meetings since the 1980's. Tons of cassette tapes on archive. Its quite normal to record a meeting.

We also record our HOA meetings to review it quickly for taking minutes to make sure nothing was left out. It also keeps people from being crazy. People act more professional when they know they are being recorded. We dont archive them though, they are only temporary.
PaulJ6
(New York)

Posts:579


01/13/2020 6:17 AM  
Posted By SteveM9 on 01/13/2020 5:20 AM
In my town they have been taping meetings since the 1980's. Tons of cassette tapes on archive. Its quite normal to record a meeting.

We also record our HOA meetings to review it quickly for taking minutes to make sure nothing was left out. It also keeps people from being crazy. People act more professional when they know they are being recorded. We dont archive them though, they are only temporary.




Consistent with this post, there are exemptions from anti-eavesdropping laws that allow public meetings to be taped. Usually these exemptions apply to government meetings, but they might also apply to HOA meetings.

In any event, the person who did the taping consented to it, and the police don't like getting involved in situations in which there is a basis for claiming that the action was lawful, so I'd just let this go and maybe say in the future that recording is not allowed if that's what you (OP) want.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:9053


01/13/2020 7:29 AM  
Posted By MichelleG7 on 01/12/2020 9:28 PM
At our last unit owners meeting a unit owner got up said she taped the meeting and esited the building.. IS this legal?? we were not told the meeting was being taped. HELP>>> how to stop this from happening in the future?nd Can we do any legal action towards this owner?




And what are you trying to hide??????
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2882


01/13/2020 7:52 AM  
If you're on the board, talk to this owner first and find out why she did it - if she said I taped this and left, there has to be a back story to this.
Take another board member with you as a witness, but try not to get into a loud argument. Stay professional, but note she didn't tell anyone what she was doing or ask their permission - this is rude and in bad taste, and can discourage open discussion of association business. She may not tell you what she did or is doing with the recording, but ask anyway.

As others have said, this may be legal in your state, so if the board wants to ban recording of association meetings, it needs to run that past the association attorney. If you adopt a policy, take a formal vote on the matter in an open board meeting and then remind everyone of the policy as well as other meeting no-nos at the start of the meeting (e.g. not cussing, interrupting others while they're speaking, etc.)
AugustinD


Posts:2411


01/13/2020 9:38 AM  
Posted By MichelleG7 on 01/12/2020 9:28 PM
At our last unit owners meeting a unit owner got up said she taped the meeting and esited the building.. IS this legal?? we were not told the meeting was being taped. HELP>>> how to stop this from happening in the future?nd Can we do any legal action towards this owner?
MichelleG7 (a Board President), did you try googling on this topic? Your board (and not you by your lonesome) can vote to have the HOA attorney send an intimidating letter to any owner you want. Its legal value will likely be zero, but if you and your board are the type that hate pretty much any owner who complains, I can assure you your board and you can mis-use HOA resources to tamp down on complainers and likely get away with it. Because, ya know, you stepped up to be a director (and President); are doing all this work (though not researching via google?); so screw the membership. You have all the power to make others' lives miserable, and it is unlikely anyone will sue you or the HOA.

I am not sure I understand the meaning of your multiple question marks and capital letters. Are you trying to indicate you are upset? Furious? Yet you are not even sure yet whether the owner's actions were within the law, so there may be no reason to be upset at all?

"We are trying to give the world positive ways of dealing with their feelings."
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1877


01/13/2020 10:13 AM  
While I am camera shy, full recording of board meetings is a great idea, I think ... ensures accurate record.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2882


01/13/2020 11:59 AM  
That's what minutes are for, and there are lots of resources on the web on how to prepare them correctly. I find the problem usually starts when the secretary or whoever's preparing them wait a few days or weeks to put them together and by that time, he or she may have missed pertinent information (especially if he/she was participating in the conversation and forgot to write certain things down). It's better to put a draft together within a day or two. At the next meeting, clarifications can be noted in the minutes before they're accepted.

Other tips I've seen elsewhere and on this website:


Create an outline – you should already know the date, start time and who will be there, and you can put that at the top of your paper. Use the agenda to list subject areas that will be discussed and give yourself plenty of room for writing your notes. In fact, this is why you should prepare an agenda before the meeting – this way board members can stay on topic (most of the time, anyway?!) and get out within a reasonable amount of time.
As board members and the property manager arrive, check them off. Later, you’ll be able to see who was absent, late or left early- note that information as well. Check your watch to see what time the meeting was called to order and adjourned.

Don’t try to catch it all – there will be interruptions, long discussions, pauses while people frantically search the management report for certain information, etc. Stick to writing the decisions, who was assigned to do what and action items. If the president starts to move on without a decision being made, stop him/her and ask for clarification of what’s supposed to be done and by who
Since the minutes reflect the official actions of the board, you don’t need to say Mr. X or Ms. Y said this or that (especially if it was accompanied by threats, name-calling and shouting matches that shouldn’t be in the minutes anyway). Simply state what the motion was and whether it was approved or not.

If you must record the meeting, be professional and let everyone know before you start. You won’t be making a word for word transcription, but it can help you with clarification. In my opinion, the secretary should be the only person recording the meeting, but if others insist on recording (because everyone has a smartphone or tablet with recording capabilities and don’t always say what they’re doing, as you can see here), the Board may as well click on its own recorder. This is a great way to counter people who may try to slice and dice their version to make it appear you said something you didn’t. No going on or off the record whenever you want – the revolution WILL be televised! (thanks Gil-Scott Heron!)

Once the minutes have been approved, I don’t see a reason to keep the recording anymore, but you may want to ask your attorney if it should be preserved – personally I go for all or nothing – if you want to keep one, keep all of them.

GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3495


01/13/2020 12:27 PM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 01/13/2020 7:29 AM
And what are you trying to hide??????

There's not a lot to hide in Connecticut. Unless you're the Governor or a Mayor.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16627


01/13/2020 2:55 PM  
Amazingly, lots of opinions and all but one failed to mention statutes.
Hence, none really answered the questions. Michelle failed to mention if they were in a COA or POA.


The CT Common Interest Ownership Act is silent on the topic.


The CT COMMON INTEREST OWNERSHIP ACT is also silent on the topic.

The wiretapping laws ,Conn. Gen. sTaT. §§ 53a-187, 189, as Steve pointed out, appears to require the consent of all parties for a phone conversation but not for a group meeting providing the individual who recorded was part of the group.


Therefore, they could probably record the meeting.
As others have said, to prevent this issue in the future amend the Bylaw to prevent the use of electronic recording equipment at meetings.


TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16627


01/13/2020 2:56 PM  
I'm sorry, Paul and Steve both pointed this out.
MichelleG7
(Connecticut)

Posts:6


01/23/2020 8:09 AM  
Yes I do all the above. This owner was not taping the meeting for any useful help for our minutes or anything for the board. IT wa so he could bring to an atty. is all we guess. Nothing happened at the meeting. But for an owner to come in tape a meeting secretly. If you dont know about it it wont hurt. But to rush out at the end and tell us alllike ha ha ha I taped the meeting. Im not concerned with the information from the meeting we have nothing to hide. IT s the way it was done. So We will mention at the beginning of meetings no taping from here forward. If we were taping we would let the owners know. Thats a courtesy to all involved.
AugustinD


Posts:2411


01/23/2020 8:35 AM  
Posted By MichelleG7 on 01/23/2020 8:09 AM
So We will mention at the beginning of meetings no taping from here forward.
That this goes against all or nearly all advice here is unsurprising.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1877


01/23/2020 10:28 AM  
Michelle,

Please reevaluate what you apparently have already decided.

If you decide to restrict recording, you should consider getting a legal opinion - and, if you can restrict, then likely your documents need to allow you to do this.

If I was on the Board, I would tell the person who recorded how great it was they had a record - and, then ask them if you could call to confirm some small points as the minutes were being prepared. I would also urge them to attend all the Board meetings.
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