Security Cameras Are Prohibited at a Florida Mobile Home Park

Security Cameras Are Prohibited at a Florida Mobile Home Park

A resident of a mobile home park in Hillsborough County claims that the park owners threatened legal action unless she removed her surveillance cameras within seven days.

However, the ABC Action News I-Team discovered that Florida law regarding the placement and use of security cameras is murky at best.

Residents of the Captain’s Landing Mobile Home Park in Ruskin, including Joni Evans, have spoken out about the park’s security. “I had a camera right here,” Evans said. And another camera was located exactly here.

Evans claims she installed the cameras over six years ago when a thief vandalized her tool shed, ripping down her pride flag, and spray painting a racist slur on the walls.

My wife was really distressed as a result of that. “It made me very angry,” Evans said.

Evans installed surveillance cameras all over the exterior of her mobile home. “I had a total of 10 cameras,” she recalled. Without monitoring, Evans has lost any sense of security.

All that is left of her previously complex security system are screw holes and splotchy paint circles.

In April, she received a warning from her mobile home park demanding that she take down the surveillance equipment within seven days.

The guidelines were released on the tenth of this month. Before, there were “no rules,” Evans claimed.

To avoid getting evicted, she pulled down her surveillance equipment. Evans, a crippled soldier whose wife recently passed away, now lives alone. She claims she no longer feels secure after the cameras were removed.

“It’s been quite stressful. She stated, “Since this has been going on, my stomach has been in knots.”

The park owners stated in the notification that residents were being asked to remove cameras since recording audio and video is illegal in the state of Florida.

Privacy Expectations

Tenants in a private mobile home park like Evans’, according to attorney Jon Ellis, have different rights than tenants in co-ops or communities administered by a homeowners association.

“In a private company that owns the park, they can set their own rules,” Ellis explained.

However, he clarified that even though Florida is one of 16 two-party consent states, it does not necessarily constitute a violation to use a video camera that records audio.

According to Ellis, “Any type of expectation of privacy you may have is starting to be removed when you have a sign that specifically says heads up… we are recording audio.”

Evans claims to have various signs advising guests that she may be capturing their conversations or footage.

She also claimed her surveillance equipment could only record the sounds of individuals in her yard.

The primary focus of Florida’s video camera legislation is on the prevention of video voyeurism.

If someone has a reasonable expectation of privacy, “You can’t face the video camera in Florida,” Ellis said. Backyards and bedroom windows of nearby residents fall into this category.

Because she discovered park management under her house and in her backyard without her permission, Evans believes she was singled out.

We’ve been told it’s a serious crime. The park is owned by Don Babuka and his siblings.

Someone was making an audio recording. Recording conversations without permission is illegal,” Babuka added.

Babuka stated, “We’ve heard that it’s a felony,” although he freely admitted he had never visited an attorney regarding the law.

No reasonable expectation of privacy exists if it is made clear that you are recording the conversation. Ellis remarked, “The person can always choose to remain silent.”

Owners announced plans to install their own security system in a letter to tenants. “We’ve put cameras with no sound,” Babuka declared.

However, signs remained up at the park’s entrance and exit two days after the deadline Evans was given to remove her cameras.

Behind Evans’ house and close to the dumpster, we discovered trail cameras. The park management has stated that homeowners may utilize surveillance cameras so long as the sound is muted.

Evans said, “You can mute the mics on the system.” But Babuka claimed he didn’t have faith in Evans to follow through. “I don’t think I would believe her because she’s vengeful, hateful, and mean,” Babuka added.

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