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Surveillance Video

Question: 
Is there any case law that addresses the issue of banks providing surveillance video to law enforcement without a warrant or subpoena?
Answer: 

There are several issues before the United States Supreme Court right now, and a couple of them address warrantless searches and seizures conducted by law enforcement personnel. Your two (2) primary concerns should be, before you release any evidence:

  1. Will a consumer's financial information be compromised?
  2. Will the law enforcement agency legally be able to use the information to prove that a crime occurred and that the suspect is the person who committed the crime?

Generally, if the bank is the victim and no consumer information is compromised, the bank may release the video to a law enforcement agent without a search warrant or a subpoena. If a consumer's financial information is shown on the video, the consumer may agree (in writing) to release the video to the agency.

Get your bank's legal counsel to draft a policy and a procedure to address this issue. Then meet with your law enforcement agency(s)and train them about your consumer information requirements. Also remember to train your appropriate staff about this process and document any release and conditions.

First published on BankersOnline.com 6/15/09

First published on 06/15/2009

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