An Orange County woman was having an affair with her local priest and her distraught husband, unable to take communion from the guy due to the affair, hired a private detective to follow the wife and get proof of the affair. The husband then took the DVD that proved the affair and a liaison in a motel to the monsignor. The rub though, was, that the husband at the time was under court order to stay away from the wife. She had obtained an order of protection against him and he was to stay away from her home and her employment.
When the wife found out he had a DVD of her liaison with the priest in a motel of all places she went postal and demanded that the court find him in contempt of the order of protection. She further argued that what he did was tantamount to “harassment.” The judge disagreed. Here is a summary of what she said:
“Under the circumstances, the hiring of the private investigator, in and of itself, was not an unlawful intrusion upon the rights of the wife secured by the order of protection,” she said.
The husband did not have to accept his wife’s claims she had ended her affair with the priest, and had the right to “gather evidence up to the date of trial in defense of the matrimonial action and in support of his own counterclaims,” Kiedaisch added.
And while delivering the DVD to church officials was not necessary to prosecute or defend the divorce action, the judge held that it did not qualify as harassment.
“If the husband had the wife followed and recorded … for the purpose of gathering embarrassing material to deliver to her employer with the intention to cause her to lose her employment,” that might constitute “conduct which alarms or seriously annoys another person, and serves no legitimate purpose” — second-degree harassment under Penal Law §240.26 — Kiedaisch wrote. (from The New York Law Journal)
Oh my word. 🙂
I’m just shaking my head at the moment. I’m just shaking my head.