tell me how to gather time and dated audio and video evidence

Local police tell me I need to take my neighbors to court over chronic dog barking at all hours of the night.

For court, the burden of proof will be on me. The owner's will say "oh they do not bark at night, we sleep fine, no other neighbors before you moved in complained, etc.
My evidence, as told to me, needs to be "Time and dated" audio or video.
How do I get this? What type of elementary equipment?
A tape recorder might give me a 1.5 hour tape of the barking but it won't reveal "when this happened."

If I was able to cheaply get video with dates and times, how would I display it in the magistrate's court?

Tell me how to get time and dated eveidence, audio and /or video.



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nickg5Asked:
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_Commented:
About the easiest way is with a camcorder, with the Date/Time function Enabled.
If you can get sound and/or video off a TV or Radio (like a News report) at the same time, they can't say you rigged the timestamp.

As for playing it back, you can either use the camcorder display, or burn it to CD/DVD.

You should also check with some kind of (free?) Legal Aid in your area for better specifics.

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nickg5Author Commented:
I've got a old camcorder that my father had. The cassettes are "mini" and have to be transferred to VHS tapes.
That might be an easier way to show them in court. Small TV and VCR.

The magistrate who would hear the case said the "only" evidence I'd need would be a noise meter with decibels by asking the city cops to borrow one from the people who have them in their cars, the sherriff's officer's. Hang it on my fence and record the decibels. City cops say they can not do that, since I could not use their evidence because they do not use decibel levels to enforce the noise ordinance, they use "distance" it can be heard. Only the county used decibel levels and I'm in the city. And dog barking in my city is not "noise ordinance," it falls under the "nuisance law"
_Commented:
yeehaw...   : /

Looks like you might need to make friends with a cop on the night shift, and have him swing by on a regular basis for a listen.
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nickg5Author Commented:
city police siad they can not borrow the meters.
county police say it is not in their jurisdiction.
I saw a noise meter on Ebay for $75-$100 bucks.
_Commented:
>> city police... county police...

That sounds about right.   : |

>> ...noise meter on Ebay...

Maybe a county cop will let you borrow one (think of it as Tech Support, it might several tries to find a "tech" that is willing to help), or knows where to rent one.
Then you can measure at the required distance and record it.

{just to throw some stuff out there}

A longer range option is to make a bunch of short recordings (10-20 minutes?) to show the "chronic" aspect of it.

If you can get your hands on a webcam with audio, and one of several free "turn your webcam into a securitycam" programs, you can do it with the computer.


nickg5Author Commented:
blevoCommented:
This may be an odd suggestion but I've done video recordings of astronomical events. I used a shortware radio tuned to WWV. This gives an auditory time stamp that could be picked up by a camcorder microphone (along with the dog ) or fed into the audio input.  This would give you the exact time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WWV_(radio_station)
_Commented:
Subbed in, but will wait to post, to see if somebody with hands on knowledge will post.

Looks straight forward enough.
Take a reading and save it. Then display back the saved reports using the builtin screen (or spend the extra $20 [sheesh] for the USB cable and software to download them to a computer and get different kinds of hard copies).
nickg5Author Commented:
will look into the suggestions.

Here is what I'd really like to do:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Other/Miscellaneous/Q_26706349.html
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
Just one more $0.02

Look at how the evidence you provide could be thrown out of court.
You need a meter you can show is accurate/calibrated, you need some form of affidavit that it was recorded at the time stated at the place stated & so on.  I can see a lawyer pulling apart an argument of "I bought this on eBay and these are the numbers I got".
nickg5Author Commented:
The court that would hear this matter is civil court and the magistrate.
No one will have a lawyer.
The judge himself told me all I need is a noise meter to confirm decibles.
Other evidence I might take are records of calls to police over many weeks, a neighbor who wants to testify that the dogs are an issue, time and dated audio or videos, etc. I am not going to believe a noise meter is all I need. I was told the burden of proof on the chronic dog barking is on ME. This is why, I want to find a solution with the anti dog barking devices, before I call the cops enough to give these people a $250 fine. If they want to dispute the fine it goes to the criminal court, according to the police. This escalation of the matter to fines would come after a loss in the magistrate's court.

On a dog forum someone said that if a dog barks continuously for an hour and he "does" take one or more 60 second breaks, then it is not "continuous".
I doubt the judge is going to require a dog to bark 59 minutes an hour to be a nuisance.

The people have 4 outside dogs = part of the problem. Volume of dogs and some are being kept for relatives.

If some of you can go to my thread about a lateral garage door opener mechanism, maybe some ideas on how to do it.

I've shown a photo of the area.

I can easily use the drawer, channel, and roller from a old dresser or desk and make a container for my anti barking device to mount on the inside of my fence, as you see in the photo. However, it would not be mechanical.

A guy at Home Depot said maybe the guts and remote from a remote control car could move the device right and then back left, so the device is exposed to the dogs at night and adjusted back to the left to hide it behind the fence in daylight.
The device cost me over $55 and I do not want it stolen or vandalized. It has a range of 25 feet and mounting on the fence is the only place to keep it discreet and close to the barking. The next best, and final chance model is over $100. (50 foot range).

Luckily the people do not own the house, and I just discovered this, and their landlord might be of help. Landlords tend to hate tenants that cause problems and break city laws.
nickg5Author Commented:
it looks like the simplest technology will be an audio/video camera that can hook to a basic VCR for 8 hour recording, mentioned on another thread.
I doubt the court would have more than a TV.
If I need to take my own equipment a VCR and small TV is as easy as it gets.

Will use some of the ideas for time and dated, if my VCR does not have the "display info" feature.
nickg5Author Commented:
thanks
_Commented:
Thank you much, and good hunting.   : )
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