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Florida Fourth DCA rules that insurance appraiser inspecting the plaintiff’s home had no legitimate expectation of privacy precluding homeowner’s recording of the inspection

On July 7, 2021, in Silversmith v. State Farm Insurance Company, No. 4D20-2685, the Florida Fourth DCAreversed a trial court ruling and held that a homeowner’s insurance appraiser inspecting the plaintiff’s home had no legitimate expectation of privacy that would have precluded the homeowner’s recording of the inspection. The insuredhad filed a claim under the policy and the insurance company has invoked its right of appraisal. The insured then filed had filed a declaratory judgment action in circuit court seeking a declaratory judgment that she had the right to audio/video record the appraiser’s inspection of the home even though the appraiser objected. The trial court denied her motion for summary judgment, ruling that under Fla. Stat. § 934.04 the recording could not be made unless all the participants consented. In support of its reversal, the Fourth DCA noted that for an oral conversation to be protected under § 934.03 the speaker must have an actual subjective expectation of privacy, along with a societal recognition that the expectation is reasonable, citing State v. Smith, 641 So. 2d 849, 852 (Fla. 1994) (concluding that a person did not have a legitimate expectation of privacy while seated in the back of a police car).

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