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Landlord Ordered to Pay $476K for Spying on Tenant

Just days before Miranda Goldston, 27, was scheduled to move out of a furnished room that she rented in Kenneth Ryals' townhome, she noticed a hole drilled into the room's DVD/VCR, which was pointed at Goldston's bed. 

Concerned that she was being spied on, Goldston called the police, who discovered that the device contained a wireless camera.

Although Ryals, an IRS agent, admitted to police that he had installed the surveillance equipment, misdemeanor charges against him were later dropped. At that point, Goldston sued Ryals for invasion of privacy, and a jury later ordered Ryals to pay $476,000 in damages.

A week after Goldston moved out, Ryals posted a new ad on roommates.com for the same room -- something he was free to do, given that he had not been criminally convicted. However, while the law did not catch up with Ryals, the economy may have: The townhome has since gone into foreclosure.

Guest blogger Ruth Carter is a law student in her final semester at Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.

Posted by Laurel Newby on February 3, 2011 at 01:06 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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