Currently in North Carolina, licensed private investigators are allowed to record video, take photographs and collect evidence even if it involves peering through a window. North Carolina State Senator Julia Boseman (D) wants to change that.
Boseman filed a proposed Senate Bill on January 28, 2009 to amend the current North Carolina “Peeping Tom” law. If passed “a private detective or private investigator who engages in an activity that is unlawful under G.S. 14-202 which prohibits secretly peeping into a room occupied by another person is in violation of that law and is not protected by the claim that the detective or investigator was engaged in the legal discharge of his or her official professional duties.”
You can read the proposed legislation here: http://ftp.legislature.state.nc.us/gascripts/BillLookUp/BillLookUp.pl?Session=2009&BillID=S9
Reportedly, Bosemen decided to propose the Senate Bill 9 upon the request of the Wilmington Police Department’s attorney. Apparently a private investigator, who was legally conducting surveillance for an infidelity case, successfully captured evidence for his client by obtaining video through a window. The evidence depicts the subject (male) and an undressed woman together.
Many of you know already, Julia Boseman was involved in a nasty custody dispute with her ex-partner, Melissa Jarrell, over the custody of their son. Melissa Jarrell gave birth to this child when they were together. During the course of this custody battle, Melissa Jarrell retained the services of a private investigator who recorded video of Senator Boseman violating the custody agreement. Clearly not a pleasant experience for the Senator…
Most professional private investigators I know make a conscious effort to not trespass on private property and it is generally not necessary to trespass to get proper surveillance video. However, we all know how important it is in a case to obtain video and/or photographs particularly when your job is too collect the facts for your client, and continuing to limit our rights as private investigators will only continue to hinder our work.
Readers, I would love to read your comments and thoughts on this…