The Iowa Supreme Court has held that a wife can suffer an invasion of privacy in her home, even from her husband, according to this Associated Press story. Inconsiderate husbands and wives in the Hawkeye State shouldn’t make too much of this holding, which can probably be limited to its bizarre facts. Upholding a trial court’s award of $22,500 in damages, Iowa’s high court held that Cathy Tigges had a cause of action for invasion of privacy against her husband, Jeffrey Tigges, who placed multiple hidden cameras in the couple’s bedroom. Necessarily, the Court held that Mrs. Tigges did have a reasonable expectation of privacy from her husband in her marital bedroom, particularly when she thought she was alone.
For the nosey among us, neither the story nor the Court’s opinion reveals Mr. Tigges’ reason for placing the cameras, but one assumes he feared he was being cuckolded. Whether that was true or not, the Tiggses, who appear to have been a pair of amateur spymasters (each secretly recorded the other’s telephone conversations as well), have also been granted what sounds like a long overdue divorce.
Despite their concerns about privacy, the Tiggeses have succeeded in making their unhappy marriage a worldwide public spectacle, which I am doing my part to promote. That’s the funny thing about defamation and privacy lawsuits; in a society that values open courts, one often broadcasts the injury to a far larger audience by taking it to litigation. Thanks to How Appealing for the pointer.