Mezger v. BickAnnotate this Case
Plaintiffs filed suit alleging that their neighbors, comedian Kathleen Griffin and her boyfriend Randy Ralph Bick, Jr., invaded their right to privacy by recording images of plaintiffs' backyard and audio of their private conversations with their iPhones and Nest security cameras. The trial court concluded that any privacy intrusion was insubstantial and granted summary adjudication in defendants' favor.
The Court of Appeal affirmed, concluding that there is no material dispute regarding the offensiveness or seriousness of the intrusion. The court explained that there was no evidence repositioning the security cameras would adequately safeguard defendants' security interests, or that those interests were pretext. Furthermore, defendants never testified they intended to surveille plaintiffs; instead, they testified that they sought to document the impact of plaintiffs' loud parties on their property. The court also explained that only a small portion of plaintiffs' backyard could be seen, plaintiffs and their guests could barely be seen, and the content of their conversations could not be discerned. Even if the Nest cameras enhanced the clarity of the recorded sounds, and were more sensitive than the human ear, the court concluded that the content of plaintiffs' conversations was still barely audible. Therefore, any impact on plaintiffs' privacy interests were insubstantial as a matter of law. The court also concluded that there was no serious privacy invasion that occurred here, and there was no violation of Penal Code section 632, subdivision (a). The court rejected defendants' request to take judicial notice that Ms. Griffin sold her home in December 2020.