Recordings by Government Officials

This post is co-authored with SOG faculty member Kristina Wilson and is cross-posted to the Coates’ Canons blog.

When and how can state and local government officials and employees record government meetings or their interactions with citizens? Does it matter if the recording is done openly or secretly? Recording may be tempting, particularly where there is a controversial matter at issue. The ability to record can be a useful tool, but there are several laws that government actors need to know if they want to use this tool legally and effectively. This post focuses on the issues surrounding government officials and employees recording oral communications outside of the law enforcement context. A later post will examine the issues surrounding video recording.

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Do Multi-Unit Dwellings Have Curtilage?

The curtilage of a home is the area “directly and intimately connected with the [home] and in proximity” to it. State v. Courtright, 60 N.C. App. 247 (1983). In other words, it is the area that “harbors the intimate activity associated with the sanctity of a man’s home and the privacies of life.” United States … Read more

Guests’ Expectation of Privacy in Garages and Outbuildings

I’ve had a couple of questions recently about something that I’d never considered before: whether a guest has “standing” to contest a search of the outbuildings associated with a host’s home. Most readers will know the legal backdrop. In order to argue that the results of an allegedly illegal police search should be suppressed, a … Read more