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NJ Judge Rules GPS Tracking of Spouse Legal

Soulskill posted about 3 years ago | from the liberty-and-prosperity-but-not-privacy dept.

Privacy 241

Endoflow2010 writes "The use of a GPS device to track your whereabouts is not an invasion of privacy in New Jersey, a state appellate court panel ruled today. Based on the battle of a divorcing Gloucester County couple, the decision helps clarify the rules governing a technology increasingly employed by suspicious spouses — many of whom hire private investigators. No state law governs the use of GPS tracking devices, and the ruling, which does not affect police officers, is the first to address the issue, said Jimmie Mesis, past president of the New Jersey Licensed Private Investigators Association. 'We only use it when we are sure we have the appropriate conditions,' [private investigator Lisa Reed] said, noting that investigators make sure GPS devices are installed in cars on public streets and not private areas, and that the spouse must have some legal or financial connection to the car."

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241 comments

A simple solution... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36696570)

..is to use a GPS jammer.

A simple failure... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36696712)

..is to use a GPS jammer.

Then, you can't use a GPS navigator to get to where you're going.

Re:A simple failure... (1)

z3pp3h (1842070) | about 3 years ago | (#36697038)

No big deal, just memorize the directions.

Re:A simple failure... (5, Funny)

gfxguy (98788) | about 3 years ago | (#36697144)

I'm sure the wife knows the way to her boyfriend's place already.

Re:A simple failure... (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 3 years ago | (#36697566)

Then, you can't use a GPS navigator to get to where you're going.

You can still easily and readily use the old analog version...the street map. Just stop at a service station or the like and pick up a local one.

"You navigate...I'll drive...."

--Spicolli

Re:A simple solution... (3, Informative)

RsG (809189) | about 3 years ago | (#36696754)

That could be a problem.

The legality here, which the end of the summary alludes to, is that there's joint ownership involved with respect to the car. If a car is property of both parties, and spouse A puts a tracker on it (or more likely gets a PI to do it), but doesn't tell spouse B, then (s)he can't be charged under this precedent. It sucks, from a moral standpoint, that the being-spied-upon spouse doesn't have a recourse, but what's right and what's legal aren't always the same thing.

A GPS jammer OTOH could be illegal by simple dint of disrupting the GPS systems of people not involved in this marital spat. This is an annoyance if the person being disrupted is merely using their GPS to get to the grocery store; it could be a much bigger problem if they're on their way to the hospital. I'm not sure as to the legality of jammers by jurisdiction, but it would surprise me if there aren't laws or precedent in place, for more or less this reason.

A better solution would be a detector; sweep the car for bugs.

Re:A simple solution... (4, Informative)

Amouth (879122) | about 3 years ago | (#36696856)

we GPS jammers are illegal as to jam you need to broadcast on the same frequency with would require a licence that the FCC isn't going to give to anyone outside of the Military or NASA.

a detector more than likely wouldn't work as most of theses trackers are placed and they listen and then store data local and then are retrieved physically by the person who put it there.. if it isn't broadcasting it would be very difficult to detect remotely considering the current makeup of a modern car.

Re:A simple solution... (4, Insightful)

RsG (809189) | about 3 years ago | (#36697636)

The summary and article weren't specific about what type of tracker it was; it may have stored data locally or broadcast it. If you're storing data on the bug itself for later physical retrieval, then if the person driving the bugged car finds it, they can destroy it and the data, whereas remote monitoring ensures they only destroy the bug. And if it's just broadcasting a cellular signal, you could probably find it.

Now, part of me wonders if a smart bug might only broadcast occasionally, say by sending the last 24 hours of data once a day, to avoid being detected. That could be a bitch to find... (And if it's occurred to me, it's occurred to people smarter than me, so I'll bet that kind of bug exists).

Of course, for either a jammer of detector to matter to the discussion, you'd need to first believe that you were being tracked. TFA mentions this bug was in the glove compartment, so if the person had searched their car, they'd have found and disposed of it, or maybe had some fun screwing around with it first.

Re:A simple solution... (1)

goodmanj (234846) | about 3 years ago | (#36697714)

a detector more than likely wouldn't work as most of theses trackers are placed and they listen

I'm not up on GPS technology, but many radio receivers use a "heterodyne" system in which they generate an internal radio signal which they use to filter out the incoming radio signal. If GPS receivers do this, they could be tracked at short range from their internal signal, even if they're not deliberately transmitting anything.

Re:A simple solution... (5, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | about 3 years ago | (#36697088)

Technically, you are only keeping tabs on your own property. This reminds me of a colleague of mine that worked at a phone company, woman called in and was completely furious because they've given the records for HER phone to her husband. Except it wasn't her phone, it was registered in the name of the company and the company was in his name. He requested a detailed bill and the phone company simply complied. It doesn't matter that she was the one using it, that they called it hers because legally it was not - not that she was very willing to listen to that. Same when your spouse is using the car, it's not hers as the ownership is just as joined as ever. Sure a little creepy but it only applies to things you have joint or sole ownership in, that rather limits the uses.

Re:A simple solution... (2)

JoeTalbott (2146840) | about 3 years ago | (#36696806)

I read that as GPS hammer.

Re:A simple solution... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36696878)

We are all so glad that you shared such a boring story with us, bro.

Re:A simple solution... (1)

arisvega (1414195) | about 3 years ago | (#36697356)

..is to use a GPS jammer.

I read that "a GPS hammer"

Re:A simple solution... (3, Insightful)

Homr Zodyssey (905161) | about 3 years ago | (#36697478)

Perhaps a simpler solution would be to refrain from cheating on your spouse...

Re:A simple solution... (3, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 3 years ago | (#36697590)

Perhaps a simpler solution would be to refrain from cheating on your spouse...

Even simpler....don't get married!!

Seriously, if you don't get married...and you want to upgrade to a 'newer model'...you don't risk losing half your worldly possessions, and splitting is as simple as "goodbye".

Keeps life much simpler....

Re:A simple solution... (2)

bws111 (1216812) | about 3 years ago | (#36697744)

Also, don't share property, don't share finances, don't provide for the other person in any way, and above all, don't have kids. Yeah, sounds much better,

Re:A simple solution... (1)

DougF (1117261) | about 3 years ago | (#36697804)

Lee Marvin would disagree about "splitting is as simple as 'goodbye'".

car??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36696576)

mobile phone would make more sense ;)

Spy on Government? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36696598)

So since us citizens have financial connections to government cars (we pay for them) we can track them?

Re:Spy on Government? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36696636)

Sure. Just be prepared that you will become the girlfriend of a guy named 'Bubba' in pound me in the ass prison.

VAG GPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36696600)

No comment

Well, if it's your car, you should be able to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36696672)

... track it.

Oddly enough, BMW has a program called BMW Assist with includes gps tracking for theft recovery. But BMW will NOT provide the location to the owner of the vehicle, only to the police, after you fill out a police report.

When they were trying to sell me on this system, I said, you won't tell ME where MY car is even though I pay for this "service"? F. U.

Re:Well, if it's your car, you should be able to.. (1)

GameMaster (148118) | about 3 years ago | (#36696748)

I'm assuming, regardless of their personal position on privacy, they simply don't want to find themselves in the middle of domestic disputes like divorce proceedings.

Re:Well, if it's your car, you should be able to.. (1)

bws111 (1216812) | about 3 years ago | (#36697498)

The system they were trying to sell you was for theft recovery. If a car is stolen it is normally reported to the police. The system you apparently wanted was the 'BMW Vigilante Assist Program.'

You know what? (1)

n5vb (587569) | about 3 years ago | (#36696676)

If I'm ever married to someone who doesn't have any moral or ethical problems with putting a GPS tracker on my vehicle just to get dirt on me, and they want a divorce .. they can have it with my blessings.

Not that they're hard to find or disable if you know what you're looking for. [ifixit.com] (Or if you, say, "accidentally" lose it on the highway somewhere.) (And it's not like we need that many excuses to crawl under our vehicles looking for interesting things to see.. ;)

Re:You know what? (4, Insightful)

RazzleFrog (537054) | about 3 years ago | (#36696770)

Well if you are cheating on your spouse then I am not sure that they are the only one with moral or ethical problems.

Re:You know what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36697210)

Well if you are cheating on your spouse then I am not sure that they are the only one with moral or ethical problems.

That's the thing: "IF" you are cheating.
How about if you ARE NOT cheating and the spouse is jealous to the extent of mental disorder?
One does not automatically become a cheater when a spouse attaches a GPS tracker on your car!

In other words, life is not so simple.

Re:You know what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36697358)

Problem is - and I know from personal experience, some people in a relationship can get crazy and start imagining things. A classic quote from my ex: "Why don't you get your own apartment so you can fuck all those other women, like you want to". Came completely out of nowhere and with no basis in fact. So, groundless or not, people will have there suspicions and may act upon them. So glad to be rid of that psycho!

Re:You know what? (4, Interesting)

impaledsunset (1337701) | about 3 years ago | (#36696784)

Awful ruling, but I'd have less problem with my spouse tracking me than the police doing it. And I could divorce my spouse, while I can't do that with the police.

Re:You know what? (2)

Desler (1608317) | about 3 years ago | (#36696896)

Why is it an awful ruling? If you own the vehicle you have the right to put a tracking device on it. I'm failing to see what is so awful about that.

Re:You know what? (1)

Rennt (582550) | about 3 years ago | (#36697012)

Ownership does not (or should not) trump privacy. It's like installing bugs or cameras in your house to monitor your family without their knowledge.

Re:You know what? (1)

wasabii (693236) | about 3 years ago | (#36697066)

Yes. It is like that. And it's perfectly fine.

Re:You know what? (1)

oldmac31310 (1845668) | about 3 years ago | (#36697378)

Yikes.

Re:You know what? (1)

am 2k (217885) | about 3 years ago | (#36697546)

Bathroom for your 12yr old daughter?

Re:You know what? (4, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 3 years ago | (#36697578)

Ownership laws trump privacy laws, but child exploitation trumps just about everything.

Re:You know what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36697570)

I agree - it is perfectly fine. Marriage is the union of a Man in a Woman, some places a Man and a Man or a Woman and a Woman or some trans-gender mix. The point is, marriage is a union of two people that legally binds them as one person - if they have children those children are their responsibility until the children turn 18. There is absolutely nothing immoral about tracking, cameras, microphones, etc between two people who have been married or their children, consenting or not, a married couple has the right to know what their spouse and children are doing at all times and should be ok with that - having been married.

The only time any form of secrecy is warranted is when there is one party who could in some way suffer by another party knowing some strategic information about them - this cannot possibly apply to knowledge you hold about yourself so it doesn't apply to knowledge you want to keep from a spouse. There is no adversary to keep things from in such a relationship - and if there is you shouldn't have married that person.

Re:You know what? (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 3 years ago | (#36697082)

Ownership does not (or should not) trump privacy.

Yes, it does. Your privacy means jack squat if you are using my car which I can track all I want.

It's like installing bugs or cameras in your house to monitor your family without their knowledge.

So it's like another perfectly legal action?

Re:You know what? (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 3 years ago | (#36697198)

Sorry, but you have no right to privacy from me when you are using my property. It is also perfectly fine for me to have a keylogger monitoring everything you do on my computer. If you think your privacy trumps that then only drive your own car or use your own computer, etc.

Re:You know what? (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 3 years ago | (#36697734)

"perfectly fine" to log what people do on your computer?

do you tell them, before they borrow it, that you INTEND to spy on their every move?

you, like many others who think that spying on friends/family/etc is A-OK, are also a creep!

Re:You know what? (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | about 3 years ago | (#36697800)

Sorry, but you have no right to privacy from me when you are using my property.

I'm not sure that the courts would agree with you for all possible interpretations of that statement. I don't have links handy, and I'm too lazy to look them up at the moment, but I there have been plenty of legal cases where pervs owning houses/apartments/stores put video cameras in bathrooms or dressing rooms, and -- even though that was, in fact, their property -- the courts ruled that there was indeed both an expectation of and a right to privacy in those settings which trumped the ownership rights.

Re:You know what? (1)

SonofSmog (1961084) | about 3 years ago | (#36697250)

The Hell it doesn't. You don't have any right to privacy on MY property or where I am paying the bill. I am tracking my kids phones, cars, monitoring their Internet activities, you name it. I don't keep my computer password protected from my wife or my e-mail. I don't have anything to hide. YOU DON'T HAVE ANY RIGHT TO PRIVACY FROM YOUR FAMILY. The idea that you do is laughable.

Re:You know what? (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 3 years ago | (#36697710)

...glad I'm not in your family.

people have rights. or, are you some little dictator/king of your household?

oh right, you already admitted as such. you spy on your own family.

disgusting! you creep!

Re:You know what? (1)

Riceballsan (816702) | about 3 years ago | (#36697544)

All perfectly legal to do, with the exception of bathrooms etc... there is not reasonable expectation of privacy in a home owned by someone other then yourself, or jointly owned. My fiance has no more right to expect privacy in our living room, then I have right to expect privacy at the local gas station. You have a right to know what you're property was used for. If your friend borrows your phone to make a call, do you think it is illegal to request the bill that shows where the phone called? If I request a log from my cellphone company, do they need consent of everyone who has a phone on my plan? Nope they require consent of the person who's paying the bill, everyone else is on borrowed property and has no right to privacy, if they don't like it, they can get their own phone and plan.

Re:You know what? (1)

The Wild Norseman (1404891) | about 3 years ago | (#36697682)

Why is it an awful ruling? If you own the vehicle you have the right to put a tracking device on it. I'm failing to see what is so awful about that.

Because the point is that your spouse doesn't give a fuck-all of where the car is. It's just a handy excuse to track where you are via the car.

Might as well put a tracker on your frigging suit jacket --- after all, it's not really about you; your wife just wants to be sure that your fancy Armani jacket isn't stolen while you're at the office, right?

Re:You know what? (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about 3 years ago | (#36696804)

Agreed. Marriage is not supposed to be an adversarial arrangement.... I mean... maybe if you are into that, but I am not.

However, if your spouse is that jealous and non-trusting, one would think you would have found this out before you got married. People don't usually just suddenly decide that they are jealous and don't trust you at all, either you gave them some reason...or they were batshit crazy and insecure to begin with.

This is why I stick to open relationships, I would never put up with this stuff.

Re:You know what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36697510)

I know from personal experience that people in a relationship can start out with mild, acceptable forms of your basic human flaws that may get worse over the years, especially during stressful times (bereavement, having children for example). My ex started out just mildly paranoid, angry, jealous and destructive and some years later with the death of her mother and birth of our son around the same time, she just started ramping up the bat shit crazy side of her personality. Eventually she was unrecognizable to me! It is very difficult to project how a person will be in 15+ years

Re:You know what? (2)

v1 (525388) | about 3 years ago | (#36696886)

Just don't try to sell it on ebay. That usually doesn't end well, particularly if it was installed by an officer. Best to "lose" it on a bumpy road. Maybe under the tires once or twice for good measure.

Tho I still don't get it why something left on/in your property is not considered abandoned and become your property?

Re:You know what? (1)

gfxguy (98788) | about 3 years ago | (#36697246)

Did you not even read the summary? It's either NOT the "allegedly cheating" spouse's property, or it's jointly owned, which makes it the property of the "suspicious spouse," which makes it legal and, if my spouse destroyed my property that I had legally installed on my other property, I'd be pretty pissed and have yet more reason to be suspicious.

Re:You know what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36697010)

The tracker was probably placed there to show evidence of adultery so that a better settlement could be negotiated. By the time the tracker was placed, a divorce was probably already planned.

It's nice to hear about GPS trackers being used against police officers (though in a personal, not official, capacity) rather than by police officers.

Re:You know what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36697436)

I take it you have never been divorced before, or owned anything when you were married.

Say you feel that you wife is cheating on you with your best friend by different cues that she gives off when your best friend of 15 years is over your house to play video games. You ask her about her day and there are hours of time that are missing from her story.

I had a house 10 years before she married me. She never paid a dime on the house. She never paid a dime for the car that she drives. I came home from work early one Friday and found the front door unlocked. Three years I've been coming home to a locked front door. Stuff in the living room has been knocked over and there are clothes on the floor. I open a closet and grab a baseball bat. As I make the corner to the stairs to go up them, my used to be best friend is at the top of the stairs in a towel.

I stick the end of the baseball bat in his face as he walks down the stairs and then push him in the back of the head as he walks out the front door. I do almost the same to her.

She divorces me. She forces the sale of the home at a loss of less than the balance of the mortgage. She doesn't have to pay a dime of loss of the sale. She gets to keep the car that she is driving. She gets other valuables that are in the house and I end up paying spousal support for 6 months. Why... I had no proof that she was actually having an affair. I had all the indications, and I didn't act on them. I wanted to believe she wouldn't do it to me. Boy was I wrong.

Oh. I also ended up with the all the attorneys bills. I'll be paying on that for years to come.

A woman can and will ruin you for the rest of your life and she will laugh at you. She will have no regrets.

Have a divorce with your blessing???? I hope you don't ever want a comfortable life again. I hope that you will enjoy living in low rent apartments the rest of your life because decent apartment community's run a credit check and will not rent to you.

A poor credit score will also prevent you from ever having a well paying job too. I've been turned down for a job because of a bad credit score.

Think about it next time before you say "They can have it with my blessings", you may be giving your life away.

Re:You know what? (1)

SonofSmog (1961084) | about 3 years ago | (#36697610)

Hmmm.. I probably would have killed them both since I have guns at the house and I would have been armed with one rather than a bat. Voluntary Manslaughter.

Re:You know what? (2)

rsborg (111459) | about 3 years ago | (#36697696)

If I'm ever married to someone who doesn't have any moral or ethical problems with putting a GPS tracker on my vehicle just to get dirt on me, and they want a divorce .. they can have it with my blessings

Most of these people aren't necessarily unethical to begin with but they change over time to view it as acceptable. Bearing, rearing and caring for children changes parents.

Another thing to keep in mind is that if children are involved the legally required child support and alimony can be crippling to the one who doesn't keep the kids... so parents "fight" for the kids, not just on emotional grounds, but on practical financial basis... divorces can really suck, even if there is no wrongdoing from either partner.

And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36696680)

So you can put a GPS on an object that you have a financial interest in... How exactly is this violating anything?

Re:And? (1)

Zerth (26112) | about 3 years ago | (#36696726)

Exactly. Now if they were putting the tracker into shoes/clothing/wallet/purse, that would be a violation because they are tracking the person, not the car.

yeah right (1)

JoeTalbott (2146840) | about 3 years ago | (#36696716)

Anything that follows this form usually doesn't: It will only be used when ________.

Honestly... (2)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | about 3 years ago | (#36696780)

If a relationship is to the point of a person needing to track their significant other's movements with a GPS device, why do people even bother continuing the relationship? Seems to me that suspicion of that magnitude is pretty much in itself a sign of a failed relationship. I mean, if there's no trust, what's the point of the relationship at all? Why not just end the relationship and go your own way? People get divorced or break up every single day...it's not the end of the world.

Re:Honestly... (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 3 years ago | (#36696876)

Proof. Useful in divorce proceedings. As opposed to speculation, which is not.

Re:Honestly... (2)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 3 years ago | (#36696928)

If a relationship is to the point of a person needing to track their significant other's movements with a GPS device, why do people even bother continuing the relationship?

Because proof of guilt is important.

Re:Honestly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36697296)

If a relationship is to the point of a person needing to track their significant other's movements with a GPS device, why do people even bother continuing the relationship?

Because proof of guilt is important.

Wow, I'm happy to live in a country where there is no legal concept of "guilt" in divorce cases anymore (even if I never married and never would, it's just that it are backward ideas that (1) people own each other and (2) are "guilty" when their feelings towards the other change).

Re:Honestly... (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 3 years ago | (#36697402)

What are you talking about?

Re:Honestly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36697432)

Is it?

If you are that batshit insecure/paranoid about your spouse cheating, why are you still in the relationship? Let it go and move on.

If your spouse is that batshit insecure/paranoid about you, why are you still in the relationship? Let it go and move on.

Life is too short to stay in a really crappy relationship.

Been there, done that, and, yes, there are our kids in the middle, too.

But, I can see the extreme Jerry Springer edge-cases of why you'd stay in, too, if it is the only way you can have time with your kids, for example (say other parent is foreign national, with family & resources outside of this country [could include Utah, Kentucky, etc], where he/she could bail with the kids before you could get the System to put the kibosh on it, etc), so I do understand it is not always so academically black-and-white...

Re:Honestly... (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 3 years ago | (#36697480)

Is it?

Yes. People like to have reasons to do stuff. You are not exempt from this.

Re:Honestly... (4, Informative)

goodmanj (234846) | about 3 years ago | (#36697632)

You've clearly never been married. "proof of guilt" is not a moral or psychological issue: it's a *financial* one. If you can't prove your wife cheated on you, you may find yourself in a position where your ex-wife's now shacking up with your boss, your kids are taken away from you, your ex-wife has half your stuff and you owe alimony for the rest of your life.

I'm not making any moral judgements on anyone involved here, but the reason the knives come out during divorces is not because people are petty and vindictive. Well, they are petty and vindictive, but things get really vicious because gigantic piles of cash are involved.

Re:Honestly... (1)

mr_lizard13 (882373) | about 3 years ago | (#36697754)

How do you propose to sue for half the house proceeds or win sole custody of the kids if you can't prove to the court that your other half was cheating?

You might be content to just walk away and move on but some people feel they have something worth fighting for.

Re:Honestly... (2)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 3 years ago | (#36697020)

If a relationship is to the point of a person needing to track their significant other's movements with a GPS device, why do people even bother continuing the relationship? Seems to me that suspicion of that magnitude is pretty much in itself a sign of a failed relationship. I mean, if there's no trust, what's the point of the relationship at all? Why not just end the relationship and go your own way? People get divorced or break up every single day...it's not the end of the world.

So that they don't get stuck on the short end of the divorce settlement. Or, so that they can use the evidence to get a divorce settlement that will punish the other party for cheating on them.

Re:Honestly... (4, Insightful)

LanMan04 (790429) | about 3 years ago | (#36697078)

Kids? House? Shared commitments?

We're not all 23 and dating, you know.

Re:Honestly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36697190)

This is a very logical view if you're a well balanced person. Not everyone is.

Some people used to be very very trusting, and got taken advantage of, and may be paranoid now. I'm sure at least some of /. users can relate to paranoia, no? What's the better outcome - that the now-paranoid person overreacts and leaves a perfectly good relationship because they're suspicious, or that they do something like a GPS tracker and it puts them at ease?

Whether or not it is moral and/or legal to GPS-track someone without their knowledge is a completely different question. But if my SO was honest and upfront with me about their paranoia, I'd volunteer for let them track me with a GPS (assuming I actually cared about the relationship). If the outcome of that ends badly, then so be it... but I'd want to do what I could to put them at ease because it's a relationship I cared about.

If the gov't asked me to do the same, they can suck it. The "nothing to hide" mantra doesn't flow that direction... it's a one way street in the other direction - the gov't should provide us with the proverbial tracking info.

A relationship isn't failed just because someone gets suspicious. It's failed if the two cant' resolve that suspicion.

Re:Honestly... (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 3 years ago | (#36697214)

Adultery is one of the grounds for divorce. While NJ did move out of the dark ages in 2007 when it added reasonable no-fault divorce grounds there are still some advantages to having fault grounds (you can skip some of the waiting periods the no-fault grounds usually require, and some people still hope they'll get a judge who will "punish" the other person in the "which stuff do I get and who pays who alimony/child support" part).

Re:Honestly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36697426)

Adultery is one of the grounds for divorce. While NJ did move out of the dark ages in 2007 when it added reasonable no-fault divorce grounds...

Slightly off-topic:

I was very surprised to find that in this small country Estonia in European Union, "adultery" is not one of the grounds for divorce. In fact, the law specifically states that a spouse may not limit the liberties of the other spouse. Thus it is legally unenforceable to make a "marriage contract" demanding that the other does not cheat.
However, to balance this, both spouses are free to ask divorce at any time. No questions asked.

Re:Honestly... (1)

romanval (556418) | about 3 years ago | (#36697252)

That's far too rational an argument. When humans relationships are involved, many people get weak, selfish, and stupid

Re:Honestly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36697444)

Pre-Marital Contracts.

If you divorced someone because you just wanted something new, I wonder what might happen with that pre-marital contract they signed saying they won't go after your millions upon divorce. (or dog, or boat, or house..or whatever material items you don't want to lose)

However, if you think your spouse is having an affair, and want a divorce based on that, I bet proof of the affair would keep any contract you want held in good standing when you serve them papers.

IANAL

Re:Honestly... (1)

Homr Zodyssey (905161) | about 3 years ago | (#36697614)

Relationships are organic. They can heal. In my opinion, giving up on a marriage simply due to a lack of trust is a sign of weakness of character. I'm not saying that there aren't any good reasons for divorce, because there are. (abuse and criminal conduct come to mind)

I am saying that a marriage is a promise of "till death do us part". That should mean something.

You own your spouse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36696816)

That's the gist of it. And in this country, where you can't simply kill a cheating spouse, you need everything you can to avoid paying alimony and child support when the other spouse fucks everything to hell. The child should default to the non-cheating spouse (or the one that doesn't have evidence of cheating against them).

Hence, allowing GPS trackers on spouses is a good thing.

Re:You own your spouse (1)

LittlePud (1356157) | about 3 years ago | (#36696874)

You're assuming that the child even belongs to the non-cheating spouse to begin with...

best gps for tracking the wife (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36696826)

I wouldn't bother with all of this high-tech electronic-tracking-device-attachment-to-a-vehicle thing. If you want to know where your wife is or has been, just watch your online bank/credit-card statement.

Actually, it makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36696862)

This ruling makes sense from a pure law perspective: If I own or have a legal connection to the car, I'm basically choosing to track my own vehicle's movements, whether it happens to be myself or my spouse or anyone else driving it. In fact, most people here would probably be outraged if told they couldn't do this with their own vehicle.

Tracking objects you own (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36696864)

To clarify, the article doesn't state that you can arbitrarily track your spouse wherever he/she goes (the court's full decision isn't linked, though). The person who installed the tracking device owned the car.

How about GPS tracking the judge? (1)

Bardwick (696376) | about 3 years ago | (#36696866)

If I track the Judge with GPS, would that be legal?

Re:How about GPS tracking the judge? (2)

bws111 (1216812) | about 3 years ago | (#36697050)

Sure, if you own his car.

Re:How about GPS tracking the judge? (1)

s_p_oneil (795792) | about 3 years ago | (#36697064)

Only if you partially own his car.

Re:How about GPS tracking the judge? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36697072)

If I track the Judge with GPS, would that be legal?

Only if you are married to said Judge.

Re:How about GPS tracking the judge? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36697260)

You'll get away with geo cookies.

Re:How about GPS tracking the judge? (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 3 years ago | (#36697290)

Do you own or have partial ownership of the judge's car? The person in this case owned the vehicle and thus it is perfectly legal for them to install a GPS tracking device on it. Did you have anything to add other than some stupid strawman?

Re:How about GPS tracking the judge? (1)

warchildx (1695278) | about 3 years ago | (#36697588)

what if the bank has a financial interest in the car, and instead of the judge, it is you. is it ok for the bank to put a tracking device on your car until the loan is completely paid off? this is starting to get really grey area, and freaking me out about people putting tracking devices on our (the people) stuff without our knowledge, and without a warrant.

OH SNAP!!! BARDWICK GOT FUCKING TOLD!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36697622)

Barwick, you just got smacked the fuck up for trying to be a smart ass.

Love it when slashbots get owned.

Wife or private investigator? (1)

s_p_oneil (795792) | about 3 years ago | (#36697044)

This ruling is very backwards IMO. This is the part that bothers me the most:
"many of whom hire private investigators" AND "investigators make sure GPS devices are installed in cars on public streets and not private areas"

I don't have a problem with a wife installing one on her husband's car while it's on their private property. I don't even have a problem with an investigator installing it there as long as the wife is present at the time. If you're married, the car is partially hers anyway. If you can't stand the thought of something like that happening, don't get married (or live together), and your stuff will never be partially hers.

However, I have a big problem with anyone messing with someone else's car while the car is on public streets. Does anyone else think this is completely backwards?

Re:Wife or private investigator? (1)

bws111 (1216812) | about 3 years ago | (#36697182)

It makes sense like it is. The couple was divorcing, so probably don't live together anymore. If the wife (or PI) goes to the husband's house and installs the GPS while the car is in his driveway, she is trespassing. That would mean a law has been broken, and therefore the installation of the device could be illegal. Having a PI install a GPS on your own car, when the car is not on someone else's private property, makes perfect sense.

Re:Wife or private investigator? (1)

SmokeSerpent (106200) | about 3 years ago | (#36697242)

This ruling is very backwards IMO. This is the part that bothers me the most:
"many of whom hire private investigators" AND "investigators make sure GPS devices are installed in cars on public streets and not private areas"

I don't have a problem with a wife installing one on her husband's car while it's on their private property. I don't even have a problem with an investigator installing it there as long as the wife is present at the time. If you're married, the car is partially hers anyway. If you can't stand the thought of something like that happening, don't get married (or live together), and your stuff will never be partially hers.

However, I have a big problem with anyone messing with someone else's car while the car is on public streets. Does anyone else think this is completely backwards?

It's hard to say for certain without asking the person who was quoted, but I think they are talking about installs when the spouse who hired them is not present. If the suspected spouse is gone and the car being tracked is at a shared house while the spouse who hired them is present, I doubt the investigator would have a problem with doing the install. Like as not they are talking about situations for the most part wherein the couple is already living separately. New Jersey is not a no-fault only state and this evidence would be used to file on grounds of adultry.

Re:Wife or private investigator? (1)

s_p_oneil (795792) | about 3 years ago | (#36697476)

So a guy isn't allowed to start dating after he's already completely separated and moved out? That makes even less sense. Proof of adultery should be required BEFORE the separation.

Re:Wife or private investigator? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36697620)

So a guy isn't allowed to start dating after he's already completely separated and moved out? That makes even less sense. Proof of adultery should be required BEFORE the separation.

No, actually, they aren't. At least not in a whose-fault state. Legal seperation has nothing to do with a physical seperation, remember.

Re:Wife or private investigator? (1)

gfxguy (98788) | about 3 years ago | (#36697306)

I'm actually in-between... if it's your property, what difference does it make where you have it "modified?"

Re:Wife or private investigator? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36697616)

It matters if you have it modified in a location that breaks some other law (for example if your agent trespasses to gain acess to the car). In the case of divorce this could easily come up.

What if the cheating sopuse began living at their sibling's home, and therefore parking the marrages's jointly owned car on that sibling's proporty. Should it be legal for the authorised agent of the other spouse to enter the cheating spouse's sibling's proporty to plant the tracker without the sibling's permission?

So low tech (1)

wintercolby (1117427) | about 3 years ago | (#36697362)

If you wanted to track your spouse's location, it would be easy enough to give him or her a cell phone that has some form of Family Locator [verizonwireless.com] service or install an app on an iPhone or Android. Really it's not that hard. You could give them the phone and call it a gift. If you're that paranoid, I must say, it's probably already time to get a divorce and hire a psychologist. Remember, distrust in a relationship is more often a sign of what you're willing to do than what they are.

Re:So low tech (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 3 years ago | (#36697474)

Remember, distrust in a relationship is more often a sign of what you're willing to do than what they are.

You can reach a point where you trusted them just fine, and then you find out one way or another that they betrayed that trust and are cheating on you.

At that point, what then? They've ALREADY betrayed you, and haven't told you the truth. The relationship is already unhinged. Putting a GPS tracker on the car isn't about trust, its simply evidence gathering for the inevitable court proceedings.

Re:So low tech (1)

wintercolby (1117427) | about 3 years ago | (#36697576)

Yes, you either already know there's a problem, and are building a case or you're paranoid. I was addressing the second case. I have known people who regularly cheated that were horribly jealous and possessive, the comment was more directed towards people like that.

appropriate conditions (0)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 3 years ago | (#36697532)

translates to "for no particular reason"

Time to start tracking Poilce Officers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36697550)

Being a tax payer I have a financial connection to each Police Car. I can now place GPS devices on the local Police cars and track their whereabouts. This will help justify the need for more or less Police officers. This will help financially strapped counties.

what I want to know: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36697630)

Is it ok if I "accidentally" try to stick it in my wife's pooper while doing her doggy-style?

Bad summary (5, Informative)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about 3 years ago | (#36697662)

The use of a GPS device to track your whereabouts is not an invasion of privacy in New Jersey, a state appellate court panel ruled today.

No, that is not what the panel ruled. The panel ruled that someone with at least partial ownership of a vehicle may install, or cause to be installed, a GPS tracking device even if said person is not the primary user of said vehicle.
 
This ruling is very narrow and does not address placing a GPS tracking device in a car one does not own.

Title of articles is inflammatory (1)

hellfire (86129) | about 3 years ago | (#36697816)

The titles of both the /. post and the original article imply it's okay to track your spouse, as if you own them and can follow them around, which is not true without their consent. The summary clarifies this as does the original article body. #1 vehicles are in public places and #2 the person who hired the investigator owns or partially owns the car.

Essentially you are asking a private investigator to put a GPS tag on your private property. Also, if the car needs to be tagged, they want to make sure they are in a public place so they don't get slapped with trespassing on private property for any reason. Seems to me like a clear cut case. It's all about the spin.

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