Legal Question in Real Estate Law in New York

I own a house in Mt. Vernon, NY, and I have had to install a recorded camera system due to the crime that was happening on the premises. I notified all tenants in writing and I put up a sign that let the tenants know that they were being recorded in the common areas and in the outside/yard area of the property.

Right now, I have three tenants who are all using the same common space (kitchen, mail area, living room, etc.)

Recently, Tenant A, who works for a Casino, told me that her mail was opened. This same tenant has told me in the past that she's been missing mail and that someone has been signing for her certified mail.

So, I went and looked at the footage on my camera's recording system and you can clearly see Tenant B look at the piece of mail on at least three separate occasions (so she knew it was not addressed to her) before she actually opens Tenant A's mail, looks inside at the contents and when she realizes it's nothing of value (it came from a casino), she puts the mail back, looks around and starts to call someone on her cell phone.

Tenant A was terminated from her job because she was out on disability and her job says they sent her forms to be filled out, but Tenant A says she never received the forms. And, so they terminated her employment. Now, although we can't prove that Tenant B took the other mail, but we do know that Tenant B has opened and read at least one of her pieces of mail.

Now, Tenant A wants to press charges against Tenant B. My question is: before I turn over the video footage of Tenant B to Tenant A, do I need to get something like a subpoena or copy of a police report from Tenant A first?

What do I need to have from Tenant A to provide her with the footage of Tenant B opening her postal mail?

Thank you!

Asked on 6/26/13, 12:33 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Philip Katz Fink & Katz, PLLC

I would not turn anything over. If you want to help Tenant A, when she sues tell her to subpoena the footage from you, at which point you will be legally obligated to give her copies of the video.

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Answered on 7/20/13, 9:23 am

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