MUNICIPAL LAW: District Court dismisses claims arising out of alleged improper video surveillance by police:

7/5/2017 | Matthew J. O'Keefe

Category: Municipal Law

Matthew J. O'Keefe

MUNICIPAL LAW: District Court dismisses claims arising out of alleged improper video surveillance by police:

The plaintiffs alleged that the police department engaged in prolonged and pervasive video surveillance of their residence, recording intimate details connected with their home and family.  The plaintiffs further alleged that they were both psychologists who saw patients in their home and that the video surveillance captured details of their working life, as well as those of patients who visited.  The District Court dismisses all claims.  The court states that no violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment for an unreasonable search was stated, since what a person knowingly exposes to the public through an open door or window does not receive Fourth Amendment protection and that this was not changed by virtue of video recording.  The court noted that the video surveillance was not of a type not generally available for public use.  There was no intentional infliction of emotional distress in the claim stated since the conduct alleged did not rise to the level of extreme and outrageous.  The court also noted that sufficient facts had not been alleged to establish that the emotional distress involved was so severe that a reasonable person could not be expected to endure it.  As to claims for negligent infliction of emotional distress and negligence, the court held that these claims were barred by governmental immunity.  The court concludes that the imminent harm/identifiable person exception to governmental immunity does not apply, concluding that that exception applies only to failures to act.  “Here, however, the plaintiffs have alleged that the defendant officers acted in a certain way, not that they failed to act and thus subjected the plaintiffs to imminent harm.  Accordingly, the plaintiffs have not satisfied this requirement for pleading the imminent harm to identifiable persons exception.”  The court also concluded that no imminent harm had been alleged.  “To the extent that the imminent harm is emotional distress experienced by the plaintiffs, such harm is not the type of ‘dangerous condition’ that rises to a level so as to invoke the imminent harm to identifiable victim exception.”  Borg v. Westport, 2016 WL 9001021 (D.Conn. Thompson, J.)

If you have a possible claim, you will need to review your options timely. For assistance, call the attorneys at Jackson O’Keefe now at (860) 276-8100.

With offices in Southington and Wethersfield, as well as satellite offices in East Haddam, Bloomfield, Farmington, and Marlborough our lawyers strive to meet the needs of area residents, making getting your legal services easier than ever.  Call us now to speak with us about your case. (860) 278-4040 during business hours or 860.966.7436 any time, or email us any time at

Our Southington office:  
97 North Main Street
Southington, CT 06489
Phone: 860.276.8100
Fax: 860.621.3065

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