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Ruzicka Elec. and Sons, Inc. v. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 1, AFL-CIO

427 F.3d 511 (2005)

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Ruzicka Elec. and Sons, Inc. v. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 1, AFL-CIO

United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

427 F.3d 511 (2005)

Facts

Ruzicka Electric and Sons, Inc. (Ruzicka Electric) (plaintiff) was founded and run by Thomas Ruzicka (plaintiff). Local 1 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (Local 1) (defendant) was a labor union that represented electricians. Local 1 hired private investigators to investigate Ruzicka and Ruzicka Electric. The investigators surveilled Ruzicka’s private home to determine Ruzicka’s daily routine and the time Ruzicka got home. Ruzicka sued Local 1 for invasion of privacy, claiming that Local 1 unreasonably intruded upon his seclusion. Ruzicka testified that he had his home built for privacy. The property was set off from public view and lined with 100 feet of trees, and Ruzicka posted no-trespassing signs on the property. The layout of the property would make it impossible for anyone to see whether the lights in Ruzicka’s home were on or off without being on the property. Ruzicka was appalled, shocked, and angered to discover that investigators had been on his property videotaping him and his family until 11:00 p.m. on a Saturday night. The district court granted judgment to Local 1. Ruzicka appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Riley, J.)

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