Can I place a hidden camera in a nursing home?
Yes. A hidden camera can be placed in a nursing home. Michigan is a one-party consent state, which means that as long as the nursing home resident or the resident’s legally designated representative agree to the recording, then it is legal.
Does the bill proposed by Senator Jim Runestad (R-White Lake) allow cameras to be used in nursing homes?
The bill proposed by Senator Runestad takes away the right to place hidden cameras in nursing homes. Even worse, the bill would prohibit any footage captured by a hidden camera from being used as evidence in a court of law. The bill would also take away the right to record audio in a nursing home, which places nursing home residents at higher risk for mental and emotional abuse. The bill proposed by Senator Runestad would only allow cameras to be used in nursing homes with notice and consent.
Did Governor Whitmer veto a bill that would have allowed nursing home cameras to be used in nursing homes?
No. Hidden cameras can be used in nursing homes. The bill that was vetoed by Governor Whitmer was the bill proposed by Senator Jim Runestad. If the Governor had signed the bill, hidden cameras would no longer be allowed in nursing homes. Even worse, any footage captured by a hidden camera would no longer be admissible as evidence in a court of law. Recording of audio would no longer be allowed either, which would have placed nursing home residents at higher risk for mental and emotional abuse. The bill also had no penalties for nursing home staff who turn off the video recording or tamper with it.
What is the status of the bill proposed by Senator Runestad?
On January 26, 2021, Senator Runestad reintroduced his nursing home camera bill. SB 33 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Health Policy and Human Services. Sec 21788b(1) requires that a resident request permission from the nursing home before placing a camera. Sec 21788b(2)(f)(i) prohibits audio recording. Sec 21788b(5) states that footage from a hidden camera is inadmissible in a court of law. There are no sections of the bill that penalize nursing home staff who tamper with or turn off a resident’s camera.
Listen to attorney Donna MacKenzie explain how the proposed bill hurts nursing home residents and what you can do to help.