Friday, March 12, 2010

Your Wife Has Bathroom Privacy Rights! reports the on the appellate opinion of the Minnesota Court of Appeals upholding the misdemeanor convictions of a husband for video taping his wife as she used her bathroom.   Here's a excerpt from Emily Gurnon's story: 

"Beware, guys: That wedding ring does not give you the OK to secretly videotape your wife disrobing in the bathroom.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals has ruled that a spouse has a "reasonable expectation of privacy" when alone in her home bathroom.  'A spouse does not lose all claims to privacy through previously sharing some intimate information, activity or viewing with the other spouse,' Judge Doris Ohlsen Huspeni wrote for a three-judge panel that included judges Terri Stoneburner and Matthew E. Johnson.  'Even in marriage, consent can be bounded,' the ruling said.

In a published decision issued Tuesday, the court affirmed the Mille Lacs County District Court conviction of Richard Allen Perez of four counts of gross misdemeanor interference with privacy.  Perez, 39, admitted that in 2006 he created a hole through an adjoining closet to videotape his wife at their Princeton home. They were getting divorced. He also told police he was on methamphetamine at the time. 'We weren't having sex anymore, and I did that for me, nobody else,' he said.

But he argued that his wife did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their shared home bathroom because they were married."
I may have talked about the case of the wife who "telephone harassed" her ex-husband.  I represented her!  She was totally out of control and was charged all over the region in various municipalities for misdemeanor telephone harassment, which subsequently became felony telephone harassment when she didn't learn her lesson after going to jail in multiple suburban courts. 

In the case I handled, I was able to get the charges dismissed when I argued that the husband could not testify against her based on marital privilege which she would not waive.  She fired me after the case was over, the prosecutor appealed and the Judge who dismissed the charges was reversed on the theory that of course "marital privilege" is waived, when the spouse is the victim of the crime.  Sounds right to me. 

Unfortunately "Susan" was mentally impaired and the break up and divorce from her husband was a shattering disaster of epic proportions played out in myriad courtrooms across the area, and in the newspapers.  This formerly affluent couple lost all their assets in the divorce and aftermath occasioned by frivolous litigation mostly initiated by Susan.  I was glad that my involvement was brief and relatively painless, others who got involved as lawyers ended up as parties to increasingly unhinged lawsuits she filed against everyone she knew. 

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