Boseman wants to limit rights of private investigators
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How far is too far when it comes to the rights of private investigators? State Senator Julia Boseman wants the laws to be stricter for P.I.'s and has proposed legislation to accomplish that. Senator Boseman wants to change the law that allows private investigators to shoot video through windows into people's homes. There's a fine line between legally and illegally peering through windows. In North Carolina, licensed private investigators are allowed to do so, and record video. “I just don't think it's right for a P.I. to be able to go onto private property and film people like that,” Boseman said. Boseman recently proposed a bill that would tighten the laws that allow P.I.'s to shoot video through windows. She said the proposal comes at the request of the Wilmington Police Department's attorney after a private investigator, who was following a man on an infidelity case, took pictures through a window of a woman who was undressed. Boseman added, “Cops can't even go onto private property like this and to go up to a woman's house and film here when she's not the subject of an investigation, first of all I think it's a little sick and I think it should be illegal." P.I. Bill Ratcliff said the subject of the investigation was in the room with the undressed woman, so the P.I. was within his rights. Ratcliff said the law that's in place is especially helpful when P.I.'s are handling child endangerment cases. “People hide behind closed doors and hide behind closed windows and they do acts of violence to children and we have to do cases like that also." Senator Boseman has a history with P.I.'s. Her former partner had her followed by a P.I. who wasn't properly licensed, and took pictures of her allegedly violating their child custody agreement. Boseman claimed this proposal has nothing to do with her own experience.

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I've read the article and some of the comments and feel I have to put in my 2cents. Our colleague Dianne commenting on 2/5/09 is right to take into considerations that most of the complaints against P.I.’s come from "people that have been caught" I add people with in fear of being caught when they have something to hide. Isn’t that right Senator Boseman? It is unfortunate that according to this article in the Senator’s case of reference, the P.I. wasn’t properly licensed. Without the proper credentials, I am bound to say there is no credence this individual is a P.I. at all, therefore, Senator Julia Boseman is pointing her political weapon at the wrong target when targeting the P.I. industry. That’s not surprising at all to me. (1 cent) In Florida and I think this goes outside of our great state of Florida as well. When an individual’s actions, words and/or any form of expression or communication is detected from a public place, it becomes public actions, words and/or any form of expression or communication. It doesn’t matter if the person is inside his/her bathroom inside his/her house as long as the person can be seen from the street, parking lot or any publicly shared common area. Senator Boseman a bill saying we cannot video through a window projecting a public view is not an intelligent thing to request nor a good thing for your constituents if you just take the time to think what is best for the people hiring you “We the People”. Have you considered Senator Boseman, the strength of a video in a court room against a child molester as he undresses in the presence of a 10 year old little girl fundles her pushes her onto a bed then turns out the lights? and Ms. Boseman, have you considered the strength of a video taken from an easement and thruoug a window of divorced parent with shared custody of minor children using drugs in a dwelling shared by the very children our laws are designed to protect. Senator, please follow the advice of another colleague commenting on this news article, Monty Clark of North Carolina, when he says “Ms. Boseman should be knocking on the door of the Attorney General's Office demanding that this Non-Licensed, So-called PI is prosecuted for FRAUD. That will send a lot strong message to the General Public.” In your outrage Senator you are failing at doing your job. The job “We the People” have cgarged you with. (2cents) We vote this people into office, we hire them and pay our taxes to them but are we holding them accountable for their actions during our employ? (spare change)
Illegally working as a PI without licensure, etc. is one thing, but those of us who work hard and honest, do not deserve such restrictions like the ones Boseman has in her Bill. With all due respect, it appears that Senator Boseman is not remaining objective and after her former "experience" as the very subject being investigated, has apparently left her biased, and perhaps, vendictive in nature, clouding her best judgment. The bottom line is, if that other woman was caught on video because she did not have the presence of mind to close the blinds or curtains, what we see is exactly what we see. No, we are not police officers. Yes, we are exempt from stalking laws while performing our investigative services in a legal, professional manner. Similarly, I dare say when the DEA or the ATF are working undercover, infiltrating the "bad" guys, that they had better not document anything risque, bloody or violent! You better believe they do. It's just part of their job to get the TRUTH so the FACTS can be presented. I've worked in this industry for over twenty-three years. Again, with all due respect, Senator Boseman, you are out of line. I am almost speechless. Investigators are not at fault simply because someone chose to ignore that there may even be children playing out in their yard, or even across the street and see nudity, violence, etc. Furthermore, when there is an open window, that's just what it is. We investigators have a job to do--finding out the truth and attempt to obtain evidence legally to be used in a court of law. For example in a child custody case or abuse case, we have to determine if their life is going forward in a healthy and emotionally stable environment. Boseman, stop and think about what you're trying to do. What is most important, here...? Do you not give a damn about truth revealed! If so, you are an embarrassment to the System!! I can’t help but feel sorry for you but I haven't lost all hope that, surely, way down deep inside somewhere, you have a soul that eventually recognizes and reminds you what is most important is a legal investigation that "reveals the truth." Remember, it’s not EVER about us. It is, however, ALL ABOUT THE KIDS AND THEIR WELL-BEING. If I ever lose sight of that, then I don’t belong in this business…. and neither does anyone else belong in the System who attempts to impede the legal process of carrying out our investigative services with the best interests of our clients and ALL persons involved. We investigators simply observe and report, observe and report. It is often necessary to document what we “observe,” especially since we generally have a caseload of four to twelve active cases, at any given time. I can only hope Boseman will re-evaluate and not implement that Bill which will most definitely impede the process and compromise North Carolina Private Investigators' abiliy to carry out essential services to insurance fraud claims adjusters, attorneys, and private citizens civil and criminal matters. Sabrina Hicks, Investigator Confidential Investigations, Inc. DCJS Virginia State Lic. #11-4224 Roanoke, Virginia Sabrina L. Hicks, President

The problem with private investigators taking pictures and video tapping people in their homes is it opens a door to real creeps taking advantage of thier posistion as supposed law obiding investigator, if the truth be made know, Im willing to bet that 50% of investigators are creeps and sexual preditors, what makes them so perfect, they are sheep in wolves clothing, they are sneeky, with thier badge. thats why you investigators want to keep it legal for you to infringe on a persons privacy. The majority of you investigators are creeps. They should make it as difficult and if not more difficult to become an investigator, put these creeps under a real background check and pschological exam, as it stand now, anyone, any looser, sexual preditor that just hasnt been caught yet can get an investigators license online and in a few week via correcspondence course on the internet. Investigators are creeps. A person who like to snoop, follow people, take pictures and try to desperately get people in trouble are demented themselves, they just cover up the demented ways with a badge. Rest assured, Investigators are creeps. Nope, this is not a hate/revenge statement, its just the facts. i worked law enforcement and I know investigators, they are creeps, they should trully be investigated themselves.

i'm guessing you are a criminal, predator or someone who has been "caught" doing what you shouldn't be. otherwise your email wouldn't be so angry and vindictive. if you truly worked in law enforcement you would know there are good and bad investigators and police, in general. use your energy cleaning up your criminal background instead of pushing your misguided views on the public.

-a REAL investigator

Hi Folks, I am Monty Clark, Private Investigator for over 25 years. I have been on the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Association of Private Investigators for over 13 years. Over the years I have seen folks in our Judicial System get caught up in situations like this and unfortunately this is the aftermath. Most of the PI's I know are Professional Investigators with years of training and experience that know the laws. They know how far to go in situations and "PEEPING" in someone windows is not a prerequisite to proving your case. A PI's should never go on anyone's private property for any reason regardless of the situation or what they "think" they may see. All you need to see is a person enter and exit the premises and document the circumstances from the public area or street. Let them decide how they are going to explain their actions in a court of law. It is with regret that some Non-Skilled, Un-Educated, so called UNLICENSED PI's with the lack of experience is out in our Public Violating the right of the citizens of NC. The issue here is with the NC Private Protective Services and their ability to enforce UNLICENSED ACTIVITY. Ms. Boseman should be knocking on the door of the Attorney General's Office demanding that this Non-Licensed, So-called PI is prosecuted for FRAUD. That will send a lot strong message to the General Public. The LICENSED PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS in this State are Law Abiding Professionals. If they step across the line intentionally their PI licenses are subject to be terminated. A Non-Licensed individual on the other hand does not care. What do they have to loose. So Ms. Boseman you have a choice here. Leave the Professionals alone and take your FIGHT to the Attorney General and the Private Protective Services.
I have no problems with the assertion that a private Investigator should not be allowed to walk up to the window of someone's home (meaning that the P.I. is on private property, usually belonging to the subject of the surveillance, a family member, or the person that subject of the surveillance is having a liaison with), and shoot video or take pictures. I actually agree with that. But, if the P.I. can shoot the video from a public place, and the window is open for the activity inside the house to be seen from anyone standing in that public place, then there should be no problem, because there is certainly no expectation of privacy for the person inside the house at that point. A while back I filed a lawsuit against a P.I. Company in Texas for non-payment and breach of contract. I paid an associate of mine that is an attorney and a P.I. to write a report for me detailing the reasonable expectation of privacy, since he would certainly qualify as an expert witness on this subject. I would like to make his qualifications along with that report available to everyone here. Below is the link to it: http://picasaweb.google.com/RMRIInc/MikeHawkinsOnReasonableExpectationOf... You should be able to click on the thumbnails to get a full sized picture that you can read with no problem. Rick.
There are a number of issues here. One is that the PI went onto private property to obtain the video. Yes, PIs can do this - that is what should be addressed not that video was obtained. However, most PIs will not trespass and the majority of the time it is not necessary to trespass. Now, how the P.D. got involved is probably because the subject male complained to the department - and he did this most likely because he had gotten caught. Most complaints about PIs stem from people getting caught. Also, PIs are allowed to video and/or photograph subjects that are visible to the public. If her curtains/blinds were open, there is no argument - the PI would not be doing his job as he was hired if he did not obtain the photographs. It has also gotten to where videos/photos are required to document times for surveillance time stamps, plus these items are used in court or in cases to not go into court. The PIs are responsible to maintain copies of videos/photos. You have to understand it is a job - there is nothing questionable about motives. The good Senator should allow this to drop. By changing the ruling, it will make our jobs harder, which will cost the clients more money because it will become more difficult to get the evidence needed.
Let a PI come into my yard to film anything and I can promise you he won't be walking off my land....and whatever video he may of had would be destroyed
I used a good private investigator a couple of years ago that made all the difference in the world in my divorce. My husband was hiding money from the attorneys and got caught by the private investigator. Now that he found the money my husband was hiding he had to cough up an additional $200,000 in the settlement. A good Pi will do what it takes to get the job done, within the law of course. This one cost me a bunch of money but he saved me more than 10 times the amount I spent. A good lawyer will make you get one, you got to know what's been going on behind your back. Got to, especially if there is big money concerned!
Here is a comment for Julia Boseman, Private Investigators and Police Officers are are not doing a service because they thought it sounded like a good idea. They do not wake up one morning and say you know what I am going to go provide incriminating evidence against himself and then deliver the evidence to an attorney. Hoping it never gets played in court, are you serious?? They do not follow someone to a certain residence and then video tape them because they were going to get a good article on YOU TUBE or even TMZ.com. I would understand the senator having a reason to file for a change in the law if surveillance was conducted in a window that no legal motive was present. Private Investigators are usually former LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS from local to federal. I would hope if you are going to have a title in front of your name from Senator to PI then have some common sense. Senator CITIZEN you tell us was the PI doing an illegal act that did not meet the needs for another CITIZEN in this state.
Did anyone ask or does anyone know if the Wilmington Police Department's attorney really asked for this? I would like to hear what He/She has to say about this issue.
"She said the proposal comes at the request of the Wilmington Police Department's attorney" Why would a police attorney care? I don't understand. Did the attorney said this to her when she was cring to him when she was being watched? I don't know why she proposed legislation but I am sure it has to do with her past with PI's.
The Wilmington PD is corrupt.......as long as Julia's wife has a job there you can't trust anything they do!

true...oh so true. truest thing on this page! hopefully, the wife will smarten up one day and leave boseman and the department. well, actually, she already left the department...now, we'll just wait for the other...

Someone standing in your yard with a video camera, can shoot a video of you. Even if you're not doing anything wrong, they can do it. The police can't do it, and you as a private citizen cannot do it, yet, PIs can? I think some of the comments here are just to get in a dig at Sen. Boseman.
While I don't agree wtih her motives, I do somewhat agree with the principal behind it. A female friend of mine that was married was under an investigation by a PI hired by her husband. Supposedly she was cheating on him when he went out of town. The PI (two of them) filmed her several times getting undressed and what not in her bedroom. Not once did she have another person over at the house, yet the PI continued to video her. This happened on several occasions. When they finally went to court for the divorce, it came out that her husband hired the PI and all his tapes were admitted into evidence. Supposedly these tapes were destroyed afterward, but who's to say the PIs didn't keep certain copies of the tape? Again, not once was she caught with another man, but the PIs continued to video her bedroom and living room
Regardless of her motivation, she does have a point. I realize they have a job to do, but peering at undressed people through their windows on private property exceeds the bounds of propriety. It's creepy, really. If it's the children they are so concerned with, then fine. In child endangerment cases, allow them to do it. Otherwise, it's just voyeurism plain and simple.
No, it does not. You are not trespassing in NC if the property is not posted and you didn't have to climb over a fence or open a gate to get there. If they (remember the man was the target) were in the room, there is no violation and the filming is justified as part of the investigation. The lady being in a state of undress with the man there is the point of the investigation. If you don't want people seeing you inside, that's what blinds and curtains are for. The law is clear on this; you may NOT use an elctronic aid for HEARING, however, you MAY use visual aids such as binoculars and cameras. There is nothing wrong or creepy about a legitimate investigation. We are not talking about taking pictures for personal sexual gratification.
So, you are saying you have the right to go onto my property, go into my backyard and look in my windows...because I don't have a fence or no tresspssing signs put up? In a way you are right, but if at anytime you were told by an authorized person (who could be the person you are investigating) you no longer have any rights to be on that property or remain there
Just another piece of the Obam-in-ation we are in right now....this country is really starting to crumble...
Obam-in-ation? What in the world does Obama being President have to do with a PI videotaping an undressed woman in Wilmington, NC? The NC law that permits PIs to do this was passed years ago during the time that Jesse Helms (a staunchly conservative Republican) was the leading NC Senator. Better that HE should be blamed for the existing law and the way the country is crumbling. But in truth, how does any of it relate to this case? Please! Get a life Guest7969.
What was your point?
Of course it has EVERYTHING to do with her personal experience. I'll bet she would feel differently if SHE needed a PI's services for some reason.
I agree with you, she would want any evidence possible. I have been working with a PI for a year now, and what we think is enough to prove a case, the judge dismisses. Sometimes, just proving someone is together outside is not enough. However, I do say that if there is not another subject in the house only the person being followed, then the PI should not have been taping, until someone enters the house other than the person being followed(male or female).
She had a PI, she just doesn't need one now.
Once again Julia gets to the party late. She wants to limit rights of others. "Senator Boseman has a history with P.I.'s. Her former partner had her followed by a P.I. who wasn't properly licensed, and took pictures of her violating their child custody agreement. Boseman claimed this proposal has nothing to do with her own experience." The end result is Julia's conduct in regards to this news piece is to restrict rights so as to protect the "citizens". Really she is trying to punish a industry that caught her red handed. But it really doesn't matter anyway. Her voters don't care about all the scandals she's been involved in. This is why the country is so screwed up. No one cares what's right. This idea came about "at the request of the Wilmington Police Department's attorney". No doubt after a conversation with Julia.
Plus her girlfriend is a WPD officer.
After all this hullaballoo with annexation, do you really think Julia B has that much sway with the city? LOL! Would love to have been a fly on the wall for that conversation! Oh, but wait, that will be illegal soon (but not because of any "personal experiences...")!
Oh, yes, it had nothing to do with her own experience. Seriously?? "took pictures of her violating their child custody agreement" So...lemme get this straight: She was VIOLATING AN AGREEMENT...she got caught and was called out on it...but it has nothing to do with her proposal. Can't say that I blame her for one thing, though. I wouldn't want to be videotaped with a man...and I certainly wouldn't want to be taped with another woman.
I guess with the economic down-turn, job loses, you name it...yeah, it makes perfect sense that this should take precedence. oh and right... it has nothing to do with her past experience.