Ludington City Parks: Videotaping You in the Bathroom

Posted at 9:56 PM, Aug 27, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-27 23:04:26-04

LUDINGTON, Mich.- Public park bathrooms in Mason County have had video cameras in them since the late ‘90s, according to city officials.

City Manager John Shay says they installed cameras after a string of vandalisms, and only the Ludington Police Department has access to the tapes, but one man says they’re an invasion of privacy.

Tom Rotta filed a complaint with the Michigan State Police saying these cameras were pointing at urinals and bathroom stalls.

Shay says the cameras are only pointed at common areas like the sink and not private areas like stalls.

There’s a sticker in the men’s bathroom and there’s a sign outside the women’s that indicates that cameras are in place.

Attorneys say the law is all about “reasonable expectation of privacy.”  When you know you’re being videotaped in a public place, the laws that prohibit someone from videotaping you do not apply.

Even after hearing from MSP, Rotta still claims the cameras are pointing in the stalls and says he’s worried the tapes are being sold.

He’s filed a Freedom of Information Act request for documents and receipts.  He’s also tried to get the raw footage of the bathroom videos.  Police told him he had to pay for the videos and he denied.

Rotta posts this all on the Ludington Torch website.

The Ludington Police Department says they’ve only looked at the video twice in the past 12 years and again a third time when Rotta filed for a copy.

Rotta says he’s now considering a class action lawsuit against the City of Ludington for invasion of privacy.