Copeland v. Hubbard Broadcasting

526 N.W.2d 402

 

RULE:

An entrant may become a trespasser by moving beyond the possessor's invitation or permission.

FACTS:

Appellant homeowners sought review of an order from the district court, which granted summary judgment in favor of respondent television station, and denied the homeowners' motion to amend their complaint to add counts of invasion of privacy and violation of state and federal wiretap statutes. The homeowners invited a veterinarian into their home to treat their cat. The veterinarian brought his assistant with him, who without the knowledge of the other parties, filmed the veterinarian's treatment of the cat and portions of the homeowners' residence. The assistant was also employed by a television station, which aired a portion of the footage in its investigative report regarding the veterinarian.

ISSUE:

Whether homeowners, who unknowingly had their home filmed by their veterinarian's assistant, gave consent for the videotaping by allowing the veterinarian and his assistant inside their home to treat their cat?

ANSWER:

No.

CONCLUSION:

On appeal, the court determined that the trial court erred in finding that the television station was not liable as a matter of law for trespass. Whether the homeowners' consent allowing the veterinarian and his assistant into their home was also consent for the assistant to videotape was a question of fact. However, the court also concluded that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying the homeowners' motion to amend their complaint because they failed to state a cause of action in either invasion of privacy under state and federal statutes.

The court affirmed the district court's denial of the homeowners' motion to amend their complaint. The court reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the television station on the homeowner's trespass complaint.

Click here to view the full text case and earn your Daily Research Points.