North Aurora couple refile hidden camera lawsuit

Posted7/22/2013 5:26 PM

Anxiety, depression, embarrassment, shortened tempers, panic attacks and a need to see therapists.

These are some of the aftereffects listed in a lawsuit filed by North Aurora couple David and Katerina Speers seeking damages for invasion of privacy from their neighbors after a hidden camera was found in the Speers' bedroom in late 2012.

The Speers sued a neighborhood family, including their 16-year-old son, earlier this year, but a judge dismissed the suit in May.

The Speers have refiled their lawsuit, seeking damages from the family, arguing they knew or should have known their son, who has Asperger's syndrome, is prone to "poor judgment," according to court records.

The two sides were due in court this week, but their next appearance is now Aug. 27.

North Aurora police charged the teen as a juvenile with disorderly conduct.

Thomas Scherschel, attorney for the defendants, wants Judge Edward Schreiber to again throw out the lawsuit.

In court papers, Scherschel argues that parents are not automatically liable for actions of their minor children and there is no evidence that the parents were aware of similar prior acts by their son.

"Because a child has a bicycle does not mean a parent might know the child might run into pedestrians. Because a child has a BB gun does not mean he will shoot it at another person. Because a minor has computer equipment, as most minors do, does not mean the parent should know the minor will use the equipment in a tortious manner, although most computer equipment can be used in any number of wrongful ways," Scherschel wrote.

David Speers contacted police on Nov. 17, 2012, after finding a surveillance camera near his bedroom television, according to a North Aurora police search warrant.

Speers researched the device, a mini wireless camera with a microphone, and learned that the teen lived within range of the camera.

The teen's father told Speers that he found a silver receiver in his home and questioned his son, who claimed it was to boost TV reception, according to the search warrant. It also says the father took the receiver away from his son, who later recaptured it and tried again to get a picture with it.

Michael Funkey, attorney for the Speers, could not be reached for comment and has not commented on the case in the past. The Speers seek more than $50,000 damages.

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