Appellate Division Affirms Stalking with iPad in Restraining Order
The Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court has affirmed a Domestic Violence Restraining Order which had been levied against a husband in the midst of a divorce. The decision, captioned, E.D.B. v. D.S. for privacy reasons, came about when the wife discovered the husband had placed an iPad in their shared home office and an iPhone under his bed in order to monitor his wife’s activities when he was not home. The couple was in the process of a divorce prior to this discovery, but was still living together in the same house with their children.
Before the husband left for a work trip, he placed an iPhone under the bed in the bedroom and an iPad in the home office. When the wife discovered these devices, sought a Domestic Violence Restraining Order against her husband, who in return filed a domestic violence complaint against his wife. At the conclusion of the four-day trial concerning both complaints, the Judge found that the husband had stalked his wife, and entered a final restraining order (FRO) in her favor. The Judge also awarded the wife $2,000 in compensatory damages and $14,750 in counsel fees.
The husband appealed this decision, under the basis that the devices were only in the home office and bedroom so he could protect his property and have a reasonable expectation of privacy. The Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court rejected this appeal, finding “insufficient merit in these arguments to warrant discussion in a written opinion.”
Further, the Appellate Division added that the husband’s contention that his wife had failed to demonstrate a reasonable expectation of privacy was “wholly without merit.”