Is it illegal to flim someone without their permission in California?

My brothers crazy ex-girlfriend is going to come get her junk off our street later today. She's a very unstable person and is most likely gonna start a fight or try to damage property. She's already been texting my mother calling her bipolar and all that. We wanna record her for these reasons. She will be on the public sidewalk/street out front of our house and probably on the front of our property as well. She's obviously not gonna consent to being video recorded. Where would we stand legally when it comes to filming her without her permission in California?

Anne Arkey

No, it is not illegal. If it were, every security camera would be illegal. Get several recordings from all angles.

Rufus T. Firefly

Of course you can. But if what you say is true that she is crazy and (heavily hoping we will assume) YOU are NOT crazy, you'll record her discretely. If you're also crazy, you'll make sure she sees you recording her, because deep down a crazy person will know this will provoke a fight. Not crazy: Film out of sight. Crazy too: Walk right out holding up your camera and you can both be on YT humiliating yourselves. By the way, if you are just mental health shaming, then really, shame on you. If she's just angry, then stay out of if. You don't know how your brother provoked her. If she IS sincerely crazy, you'll keep it discrete and not be tempted to provoke her or post it online. She needs help, not public tar and feathers. And figure out what's wrong with your brother that he dated a real crazy person. (No. No... crazy people don't hide it for a long time and SUDDENLY be crazy.)


No. What you do with that recording is quite another question. Every time you walk by an ATM or into a bank, or into store, your image is being recorded. Likewise, when the network films the crowd at at a football game, they do not need the permission of everyone in the stands.

Pascal the Gambler

Not in a public place, or on your property.


Of course not, but you should follow some ethics if the other person wants to have his/her picture taken. If they say "no thanks", then respect that.