Recent decisions in Maryland federal courts have made it clear that parties who secretly use GPS trackers to monitor the movements of their former spouses and romantic partners can subject the tracker user to a lawsuit for monetary damages. Judge Paula Xinis authored a memorandum opinion in the case of Demo v Kirksey et al. largely denying motions to dismiss such a suit.

That case concerned a lawsuit between parents of a minor child, which also included defendants who were investigators and lawyers representing the tracking domestic partner. One tracker was secreted in a diaper bag accompanying a minor child, who was with the plaintiff at regular intervals pursuant to the custody arrangements negotiated between the parents. Another was placed in the plaintiff's vehicle.

This meant to quote Judge Xinis " The tracking software for both the diaper bag and the vehicle allowed monitoring 24 hours a day, seven days a week for six continuous months."

This precipitated the lawsuit for "intrusion upon seclusion", harrassment under the Maryland Criminal laws and violations of the Pennsylvania Wiretap laws.

The case presented novel, undecided issues under the laws of both Maryland and Pennsylvania both with regard to whether GPS tracking such as occurred in this case was an invasion of the plaintiff's reasonable expectation of privacy and as to which states laws applied.

Ultimately Judge Xinis analyzed recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions concerning " the zone of an individual's reasonable expectation of privacy" and concluded that the tracking outlined in this case was actionable as the " Defendants intentionally intruded upon Demo's privacy."

So GPS trackers beware you might just have to pay for your intrusion upon seclusion. For more go to: https://www.maryland-law.com/library/gps-trackers-and-invasion-of-privacy-time-to-pay-up-.cfm

 

Robert V. Clark
Maryland Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyer
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