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New Jersey Court Rules Use of GPS Device to Track Spouse during Divorce Not Invasion of Privacy

August 10, 2011 | Posted In Resources - Expungements

A New Jersey appellate court has ruled that a woman who used a GPS tracking device to keep track of her husband's whereabouts before a divorce did not invade the husband's privacy.

The woman placed the GPS device in her then-husband's car on the recommendation of a private investigator that she had hired to track her husband.  Private investigator Richard Leonhard, who had been hired in 2007, recommended that the wife install a GPS tracking device in the glove compartment of the husband’s s car.  There, the tracking device remained between July 14 and August 24, 2007.  Soon after, the investigator found the husband leaving a driveway with another woman.

The husband sued the wife for invasion of privacy in a lawsuit that also tried to name the investigator.  The claim against the wife was soon dropped, but the husband continued his lawsuit against the investigator.  According to the lawsuit, the use of the tracking device in the car had invaded his privacy and had caused him emotional distress.

However, the New Jersey appellate court has ruled that the installation of the device did not constitute an invasion of privacy because the GPS technology only tracked his movements on public streets.  According to the decision, there was also no evidence to indicate that there was any private information about the plaintiff that had been recorded by the device or had been passed on by the wife to the investigator.  The judges also did not fail to note that, in spite of the fact that he claimed emotional distress from the invasion of his privacy, he did not seek medical treatment for the same.

The New Jersey criminal defense lawyers at Helmer Paul Conley and Kasselman represent persons charged with DUI, drug crimes, sex crimes, fraud, assault and other crimes across New Jersey.

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