A judge dismissed a North Aurora couple's lawsuit against their former baby sitter over a camera authorities allege the teen set up in their bedroom.
David and Katerina Speers can refile their lawsuit against the teen and his parents within 21 days. The teen was charged with a misdemeanor in juvenile court.
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The Speers sued Scott and Teresa Thompson and their son after David Speers discovered a hidden camera with a microphone in his bedroom in November 2012.
According to court records, David Speers researched the device and determined the teen lived within the transmitting range of 300 feet. Speers went to police, who searched the Thompsons' home looking for cables, transmitters, the camera box, thumb drives and other items belonging to the teen.
North Aurora police eventually charged the teen in February with misdemeanor disorderly conduct. The Speers sued the teen for invasion of privacy and the parents for negligent supervision, arguing the parents found out about the camera but failed to stop him from using it.
Kane County Judge Edward Schreiber this week dismissed both complaints without prejudice, meaning it can be refiled by the Speers.
In court papers, the teen's attorney, Kelly Bennett, argued that the Speers' lawsuit failed to satisfy legal requirements for invasion of privacy and that the camera never transmitted any audio or video.
"Plaintiffs have made no allegation in their complaint that any activity was in fact viewed by this defendant or anyone else," read part of Bennett's motion. "The plaintiffs have merely alleged a possible violation of plaintiffs' privacy, but not one that actually occurred."
Thomas Scherschel, attorney for the Thompsons, successfully argued to Schreiber that the Speers didn't have any evidence the Thompsons were aware of previous similar acts by their son. Therefore, the couple cannot be held liable for his actions or sued for negligent supervision.
"Just being a parent alone doesn't make you responsible for the acts of a child. There was no evidence this child had ever done anything like that before," Scherschel said, adding all that is known is a camera was found. "(Police) did forensics on all the computers in the (Thompsons') home and there was nothing there. We honestly don't know what happened."
Both Bennett and Scherschel both expect the Speers to refile lawsuits against their respective clients.
"This is stage one. I cannot comment on the merits of the suit," Bennett said.
Messages left for Michael Funkey, the attorney for the plaintiffs, were not returned.
The Speers have until the beginning of May to refile their lawsuit and from there the defendants have a month of respond or file another round of motions to dismiss. The sides are next due in court June 4.