East Orange, NJ asked in Divorce and Family Law for New Jersey

Q: A private investigator positioned a camera on a telephone pole across the street from my home for 6 months taking photo

Into my bedroom window and now it’s being used as evidence in a court case against my girlfriend for a cohabitation was it legal to be videotaped and/or photographed in this manner

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2 Lawyer Answers
Richard Diamond
Richard Diamond
  • Short Hills, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: Lets assume that the investigator did not have permission to place a device on the telephone pole across from your home, the report and the photos taken by the investigator are still relevant to the issue of cohabitation and relevant to her former husband's alimony obligation to her (presuming that the photos were being taken by the investigator for that purpose). My suggestion is that you and your girlfriend need to meet with competent divorce counsel to review the materials so that you and she can map your response to his claims. The fact that the lawyer for the ex-husband may have photos, does not automatically mean that they have proof of cohabitation as defined by current case law. This is where an experienced lawyer familiar with this issue is essential - not a general practice lawyer who does family law cases as well.

Leonard R. Boyer agrees with this answer

Leonard R. Boyer
Leonard R. Boyer pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Clifton, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: Realistically whether or not the pictures and any private investigator can be used as admissible evidence of cohabitation in a divorce proceeding is very subjective. During this pandemic, you have a choice of either seeing your attorney in person or by way of a secure state of the art Zoom Video Conference. So you don’t have to be restricted by geography anymore in terms of choosing an attorney. You can “Meet” your attorney online for an initial strategy session from the comfort of your own home. Through mail, e-mail and electronic filing almost everything can be done without leaving your home, for most types of cases. Pick the best attorney you can find and remember one rule: a good attorney is generally never cheap, and a cheap attorney is generally never good so don't choose based on price.

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