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NC Private Investigators

There have been a number of lawsuits against private investigators in North Carolina. The following presents details regarding those suits and sample information from other jurisdictions.

NC Lawsuits Against Private Investigators

  • Miller v. Brooks, 123 N.C.App. 20 (1996) -- Private investigators hired by wife installed video camera in husband's home and assisted wife in intercepting her mail from the U.S. Post Office. Husband sued for invasion of privacy, trespass and other claims against both wife and the private investigators she hired.
  • Kolb v. Schatzman & Assoc., 150 N.C.App. 94 (2002) -- Grandmother hired NC Private Investigator to help exticate her daughter and grandchildren from Lebanon and private investigator got stuck with mom and children in Syria. She tried to avoid the contract claiming it was an illegal contract and therefore, unenforceable. Read the entire Record on Appeal (warning file is very large)
  • Wyatt v. Walt Disney World, 151 N.C.App. 158 (2002) -- NC Plaintiff's attempt to use fact that a North Carolina Private Investigator was hired to investigate claims as a basis for failed attempt at personal jurisdiction.
  • Keyzer v. Amerlink, 173 N.C.App. 284 (2005) -- A NC private investigator was hired to pose as disgruntled customers of Amerlink and meet with an attorney who had just negotiated a confidential settlement on behalf of another client apparently to see if the attorney would violate the confidentiality agreement. The PI was sued for trespass and invasion of privacy. Read the entire Record on Appeal (Warning: file is very large)

Suits from Other Jurisdictions & Related Litigation

  • Katz v. County of Contra Costa et. al., 11 CV 5771 (N.D. CA) -- Private investigators accused of setting up husband in a "Dirty DUI" by having PI Moms induce him to drink and then calling law enforcement after he attempted to drive.
  • Food Lion, Inc. v. Capital Cities/ABC, Inc. -- Reporters falsified resumes, posed as potential employees and were hired by Food Lion while they secretly video taped the meat department and used film footage on PrimeTime Live. The Court found they had trespassed with consent obtained fraudulently and had breached their common law duty of loyalty.
  • Summers v. Binns -- Oregon case against a private investigator for defamation.

Laws Relevant to Private Investigators

Other Information Relevant to Private Investigators


Rice Law, PLLC has represented Private Investigation firms as defendants in lawsuits involving claims by their clients. We have also prosecuted such claims.


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Read Kroh v. Kroh

Kroh v. Kroh, 152 N.C.App. 347 (2002) which sets out an exception to North Carolina's Electronic Surveillance Act and federal wiretapping statutes by allowing parent to vicariously consent to recording when the parent has a good faith believe that the child is subjected to some abuse.

Read U.S. v. Jones

U.S. v. Jones, 565 U.S. ___ (2012) which holds that GPS tracking without a warrant violates a reasonable expectation of privacy.