Hiring Private Eye Does Not Violate Protective Order

A wife filed to divorce her husband, in Orange County, New York on February 26, 2009.  The husband countered with an accusation of adultery.

On February 26, 2009, the wife obtained a protective order against her husband that required him to stay at least 1,000 feet away from her residence or the church where she worked, except for court-ordered visitation or church services.

In August 2009, the husband hired a private investigator, who followed the wife to a motel, where he recorded her encounter with a priest assigned to the church where she worked.  The husband told another priest about the affair and, at the request of the church, turned the recording over to church officials.

The wife was forced to resign.  She then accused the husband of violating the protective order and harassment.  The judge ruled against her finding that “The hiring of a professional licensed private investigator in a matrimonial action to gather evidence is for a proper and legitimate purpose.”  She also found that the husband had a legitimate and justifiable purpose in turning the recording over to church officials.  Anonymous v. Anonymous, Case No. IDV O5502-08-09A.

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