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Monday, July 03, 2006

Ind. Decisions - Another take on David Jeffrey Lee v. State of Indiana

The Fort Wayne News-Sentinel's Leo Morris, in the paper's "Editorial Briefs" column today, writes on the Supreme Court's decision last Thursday in the case of David Jeffrey Lee v. State of Indiana (see ILB summary here - last case). Morris writes:

When can we expect a right to privacy?

Nobody should feel too sorry for photographer David Jeffrey Lee of Highland, who was dealt a blow by the Indiana Supreme Court last week. He had been charged with voyeurism for secretly videotaping his female clients while they changed clothes. He’s a creep, and society would benefit from his legal chastisement.

But the case raises an interesting issue of privacy rights. It began when Lee’s fiancee, who shared his home but was not usually allowed in his bedroom or basement, discovered 16 videotapes in the basement and watched three. She took them to police. After viewing them, officers went to the home and obtained the girlfriend’s and Lee’s mother’s permission to search. They then seized more than 360 videotapes and charged him. The case was put on hold while Lee appealed, saying the seizure was unreasonable because his fiancee wasn’t supposed to be in the basement and didn’t have permission to touch the tapes. The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed, but the Supreme Court didn’t.

There are circumstances in which we have an expectation of privacy and circumstances in which we don’t. Sometimes, the lines are blurry, as Indiana courts have now demonstrated.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 3, 2006 02:10 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions