GENEVA – A lawsuit between two North Aurora neighbors over a hidden camera was dismissed Wednesday without prejudice, which means the suit can be re-filed.
David and Katerina Speers filed the suit in December against Scott and Teresa Thompson and their 16-year-old son, whom the Speers previously had hired as their baby sitter.
The suit states Nov. 17, David Speers found a mini wireless color camera in his master bedroom. The camera had a microphone “capable of transmitting images and sounds,” the suit states. The suit seeks more than $50,000 in damages, and the Speers have obtained orders of protection against the teen.
Judge Edward Schreiber dismissed both counts of the lawsuit without prejudice, saying the plaintiff’s attorney failed to provide specific facts and damages.
“You don’t allege that private facts were recorded, that private facts were viewed or that private facts were broadcast,” Schreiber said.
Attorney Kelly Bennett, who represents Teresa and Scott Thompson and their son, argued that there’s no allegation in the lawsuit that suggests any images or sounds had been captured on the recording device. He said his cellphone is capable of recording audio and video, but it doesn’t record at all times.
“It’s no different than finding an iPhone or a cellphone in their bedroom,” he said.
Attorney Michael Funkey, who represents plaintiffs David and Katrina Speers, said the boy intruded into a private area of the home that he understood was off-limits and placed the device in the master bedroom.
“I think you have an expectation of privacy in your own bedroom,” he said.
Schreiber said the fact that the device was capable of recording was insufficient, adding that the suit would have to allege that the device captured some kind of private acts.
“It’s not an actionable offense the way you have pled it,” Schrieber said, adding that Funkey also did not state how the Speers were injured.
A portion of the lawsuit also alleges that the Thompsons failed to supervise their son’s use of the camera and receiver, and didn’t stop him from locating the camera in their house. Schreiber dismissed that portion of the suit without prejudice, as well.
The matter is due back in court June 4 for status on pleads.