Orchids of Asia Day Spa and US Government May Have Violated Innocents’ Privacy While Investigating Unrelated Illegal Activity
Allow me to paint a picture for you: you have pain in your body each and every day—maybe from arthritis, an active lifestyle, or perhaps a car accident. You go to a day spa to escape the stress of your job, your pain, your life, and there, unbeknownst to you, there are hidden surveillance cameras set up to spy on you. This surveillance is set up by the government to catch people engaging in illegal acts at the day spa you unfortunately decided to go to in your area. Along with the individuals allegedly engaging in the aforementioned illegal acts, you as an innocent bystander have been caught on video and watched by authorities while disrobed and otherwise vulnerable. This is the scary reality for many people right now who visited the Orchids of Asia day spa in Jupiter, Florida over the last several months.
Orchids of Asia Spa Prostitution Ring Bust and Bystander Violation of Privacy
By now, you have likely heard about the over 100 people who have been arrested (or will be)as part of the prostitution ring in the Orchids of Asia day spa in Jupiter, Florida. The investigation began after a tip in October 2018, where allegedly managers were trafficking women and forcing them into prostitution. Following this tip, authorities were able to install hidden cameras to catch these alleged acts which occurred on premises. Most notably, the authorities listed New England Patriots’ owner, Robert Kraft, as one of the patrons of this establishment.
However, this is not where the story ends, or where in my humble opinion where it begins. There were many individuals caught on video by authorities, which they represent were engaging in illegal acts. That fails to consider the many people, most likely women, according to Yelp reviews, who visited the establishment for nothing more than an innocent massage What about these individuals who knew nothing of the illegal acts, and did not intend to nor engaged in these acts? These innocent bystanders were likely caught on video by authorities in various stages of clothing and for what reason…to get a massage.
A review of the Yelp page for Orchids of Asia day spa, which is now marked as ‘permanently closed’, reveals 7 reviews, of which 5 appeared to be women. This illustrates that there are individuals who went to this establishment for nothing more than an innocent massage. So what then? What about these individuals’ rights or violation of the same? We look to a federal law for the protection of these individuals.
Your Constitutionally Protected Right to Privacy
The United States Constitution and the Florida Constitution establish a fundamental right to privacy. If you go to a day spa, looking for just a massage, you will likely disrobe and expect to receive a professional massage. You expect privacy. You expect calm. You expect protection. You do not expect to be videoed secretly.
The Civil Rights Act of 1871 is a federal statute that allows people to sue the government, including policing agencies, for civil rights violations such as a violation of privacy. While trying not to get into the minutia of the law, the term of art utilized by the Courts, in determining whether the law applies, is whether the violating individual was acting “’under the color of’ statute ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage of any state or territory or the district of Columbia…”. 42 USC 1983. In this particular instance, there can be little question as to meeting the“color of law” standard. The surveillance video in the day spa was installed by way of an authorized investigation.
Proving Damages from a Right to Privacy Violation
Next, the individual who was violated would have to show damages or money. The Courts ruled that evidence of “direct monetary loss” is not necessary in order to establish your right to compensation—all that is necessary is to provide evidence of pain or emotional distress. The right to privacy is sacred, and the violation of this right must be protected. Those who violate this fundamental right must be shown that this conduct is inappropriate. While engaging in illegal acts like prostitution, and catching these criminals is absolutely important, it should not be at the expense of innocent people.
Getting Compensation for a Violation of Your Privacy
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to the invasion of your privacy in the Orchids of Asia day spa, then do not hesitate to contact Sibley Dolman about a free consultation on your claim. Our lawyers will sit down with you to hear the details of your injury and recommend several legal options. When you hire Sibley Dolman as your legal representation, you ensure your case has experienced lawyers that will aggressively pursue justice on your behalf and fight for your right to compensation for an injury that should never have happened in the first place, and was not your fault.
Additionally, these claims are often fought aggressively by the government and their agencies in federal court and lawyers at Sibley Dolman are experienced in fighting in all levels of the courts including state and federal.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765