The Borings Get Back

The most Boring couple in Pittsburgh, folks who objected to Google's Street View project when the Google vehicle drove up the Borings' driveway, have won an appeal of a local judgment that dismissed their privacy and trespass lawsuit. But their grounds for victory are so narrow that it will be interesting to what, if anything, the Borings may get in the end.

See an earlier Pittsblog note about the Borings' case here, in which I expressed skepticism about the merits of their case after it was dismissed at the trial court level. On appeal, the Third Circuit mostly agreed: none of the case has any possible merit, except the trespass claim - and as to that claim, it's hard to see how the Borings' damages would amount to much. Often, trespass cases involve requests for injunctions - but Google has already left the property - or claims that the value of the property has been reduced by some amount - which hasn't happened, as far as I can tell. The case feels more like something different -- "trespass to chattels," in which the defendant temporarily dispossesses you of some object, then returns it to you -- except that it involves land.

The court's opinion is here.


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Updated September 2020:

Pittsblog 2.0 was written by Mike Madison, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh, from January 2004 through December 2011.

Since then, Pittsburgh-themed essays have appeared from time to time at, on law and technology, and in some of Pittsburgh's classier professional media venues.

Chris Briem of Null Space drops by Pittsblog from time to time.

All opinions expressed at Pittsblog 2.0 are those of their respective authors and of no one (and no thing) else, least of all the University of Pittsburgh.

Pittsblog 2.0 has a motto: "It's steel good in Pittsburgh." Say it aloud, with a Pittsburgh accent.


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