Security Cameras in New Hampshire

The article didn't clarify regarding state law, but AFAIK, in most states it is illegal to record audio without permission/consent/knowledge. The article did say that they recorded audio & video and I bet it was the audio that got them in trouble.

That is why so many security cameras have no audio capability, then there is no gray area that the audio might have been recorded (besides saving money).

I recall a case of a roommate videotaping/peeping, but because they didn't record audio and it was their property, the charges were trivial or dropped totally.
You can look up your state here.
I think a decent lawyer will get him out of this.

New Hampshire

Consent of all parties is required.

Civil damages are available.

Listening on a telephone extension is not an interception.

Hidden cameras are prohibited without consent.

The security cameras record sound and audio directly to a videocassette recorder inside the house, and the Gannons posted warnings about the system, Janet Gannon said.

In my view this is consent. Just as we all consent when we go to stores that record us by signs that are posted.
While the article didn't say, at the very bottom of the page is a link to the state's wiretap laws. As you surmize, they seem to be concerned solely with audio.
Boy I need to read CT to learn about local news that is sad... :D

he was charged with two felony counts of interception and disclosure of telecommunication or oral communications.
This is why I tell anyone wanting to record audio that I will not install it. I have a copy of the Illinois law that I keep with me.
This is the latest off the Union Lader website... Looks like they gave up on thying to get him... but they say they wont return his stuff? hmm the tapes maybe but not the monitor and cameras

Nashua officer to be disciplined

Union Leader Correspondent
Saturday, Aug. 5, 2006

NASHUA – Police Detective Andrew Karlis will be disciplined for discourteous behavior toward Michael Gannon and Police Chief Timothy Hefferan has decided to drop the felony wiretapping charges against Gannon, Hefferan announced yesterday.

Hefferan declined comment on the disciplinary action against Karlis after Gannon logged a complaint for "rude and discourteous behavior" when investigating Gannon's 15-year-old for an alleged mugging.

The police arrested Gannon, 39, of 26 Morgan St., on June 27 on two felony wiretapping charges, accusing him of using his home security system to record conversations that detectives had on his porch when investigating his son.

Police prosecutors offered Gannon a deal last week to drop the felonies if he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor of tampering with one of the videotapes, according to Gannon.

Gannon turned the deal down, and prosecutors dropped the felonies saying that they would send the case to the Hillsborough County Attorney's Office for further prosecution, Hefferan said.

Despite still feeling strongly that Gannon broke the law, Hefferan said the single reason his department will not continue to prosecute the case is because it wasn't winnable in court.

"The citizen complaint has no bearing on the outcome of my decision as far as what to do with the charges," Hefferan said by telephone yesterday. "It was solely based on the facts of this case and not anything to do with the complaint.

"We sustained the allegation that the officer was discourteous to a member of the public. I'm admitting that, and I want to be above board on these things. We will take the necessary action with our employee. And, like we would normally do, we would never discuss the nature of that action might be."

Gannon said from his home yesterday that the news was a "big weight off (his) shoulders," but added that he still has outstanding issues with the police department that he wants resolved.

"This is huge coverup and has been from the beginning," said Gannon. "I've seen these things on TV and you never think they really happen, but I'm in a big one right now."

Gannon added that his biggest issue with the police department is that the behavior he recorded Karlis and fellow detectives exhibiting seemed like "a big joke to all of them" and that he was painted as a scapegoat.

"They were making jokes about my military service, about the value of my home and the way I talk," Gannon said. "When I brought that tape down the station and the sergeants (Sgt. Francis Bourgeois and Detective Sgt. Dennis Linehan) and the other officers saw it, it had Karlis and the other detectives making fun of me and being extremely rude to me. They must've saw it and said, �Oh (expletive), we better confiscate this evidence and charge him.'"

Gannon was arrested after he brought a videocassette to the police station because he wanted to log a complaint against Karlis, Hefferan said.

Gannon had set up two cameras outside his home nearly four years ago to record audio and video after receiving threats for a former tenant in the apartment building he owns and problems of vandalism.

A sticker about the size of an adult hand sits outside the building on the cable junction box that warns of the system.

Karlis and other officers went to Gannon's home on several occasions in June while looking for Gannon's 15-year-old son P.J. who was being investigated for a mugging downtown, Gannon said. The police had argued that Gannon violated wiretapping laws by recording the officers without them knowing while they stood on his front porch.

Gannon and his wife said they gave the officers gave them fair warning on several occasions.

"We'll admit our error here," Hefferan said. "These detectives were fairly aggressive in investigating serious crime against a person and I am pleased that they did that. The citizens want us out there doing that."

Hefferan said Gannon would not be able to recoup any of the videotapes or any of the recording equipment that police confiscated during their investigation.

"That material is still illegal. It would be like returning drugs to somebody because you can't prove it. Plus, you'd have to have the consent of those involved and Detective Karlis has not consented.

"The department will maintain and destroy the evidence according to the normal protocol."

Gannon is still considering suing the department for Karlis' and other officers' behavior and for Hefferan's claims that the department won't return the evidence.