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Towncrier
Town Crier: Wednesday's Highlights

Trash pickup delayed

Trash collection for all City of Casper trash customers will be delayed by one day. The Tuesday route will be collected on Wednesday; Wednesday on Thursday; Thursday on Friday; and Friday on Saturday. Residents should have their dumpsters placed on the street next to the sidewalk curb by 7 a.m.

To aid Christmas tree disposal, the City of Casper has set up seven drop-off locations that will be available until January 26. The locations are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The drop-off locations are: near the Paradise Valley swimming pool at Valley Drive and Iris Street, at the recycling depot on Wyoming Boulevard across from the west entrance to the Fairgrounds, at the ballfield at 13th & Sycamore, on Viking Court cul de sac off of Blackmore Rd. (by pedestrian bridge over Wyoming Blvd.), at the Huber Park recycling depot at 5th and Lion Ct., by the Mike Sedar swimming pool at 781 College Dr., and near the recycling depot at the North Casper Athletic Complex at 1600 E. “K” St.

Trees may also be taken to the compost yard located at the Solid Waste Facility, 1883 Station Rd., during facility hours. Trees at the drop-offs and at the compost yard will be composted. All trees should be free of lights, tinsel and ornaments. Residents who are unable to take their tree to a drop-off may schedule an appointment for curbside pickup. Appointments are limited and need to be made by Friday, Jan. 12. Appointments can be made by calling the Solid Waste office at 235-8246.

Art 321 reopens

Art 321/the Casper Artists’ Guild is now open. Copies of the 2018 brochure are available free of charge. The new brochure will list all the wonderful workshops and gallery shows lined up for the coming year.

The public arts collaboration between the City of Casper’s Keep Casper Beautiful program and Art 321 will continue into 2018. Natrona County artists will once again be invited to submit artwork to be used on downtown Casper utility boxes. Be watching for more details about this year’s competition. The deadline for submissions will be Friday, March 30, and the public will be given the chance to vote in a People’s Choice competition at Art 321 during the April 5 Art Walk.

Change over for Art 321’s Gift Shop merchandise will take place between January 16 and 19. All Art 321 members are invited to bring their items in between January 16 and 19.

Pork chops at Elks

Wednesday Night Special at the Casper Elks Lodge is baked pork chops with mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans and corn. All you can eat for $7, children 5 to 12 are $3, serving from 6 to 7 p.m. or until gone. Members, significant other and guest accompanied by a member. For more information, call 234-4839. The menu is subject to change. All proceeds go to Elks Charities.

Wednesday support meetings

Alcoholics Anonymous: 6:30 a.m., 917 N. Beech; 8:30 a.m., 500 S. Wolcott; 10 a.m., 328 E. A; noon, 500 S. Wolcott; 2 p.m., 917 N. Beech; 5:30 p.m., 1124 Elma, Imitate the Image Church; 5:30 p.m., 328 E. A; 7 p.m., 500 S. Wolcott, closed; 7 p.m., 520 CY; 8 p.m., 328-1/2 E. A; 8 p.m., 328 E. A; 8 p.m., 917 N. Beech. Douglas: 7:30 p.m., 628 E. Richards (upstairs in back). Unless otherwise noted, all meetings are open. Casper info: 266-9578; Douglas info: (307) 351-1688.

Al Anon: 7 p.m., 302 E. 2nd St., First Methodist Church, east door, downstairs room 12.

Narcotics Anonymous: Noon, 500 S. Wolcott, 12-24 Club; 7 p.m., 15th and Melrose, at the church. Web site: http://www.urmrna.org.

TOPS #162, weight loss support, 8:30 a.m., 1868 S. Poplar.


Court decision impacts privacy claims

CODY — A trio of Wyoming Supreme Court decision released Dec. 19 have established an avenue for plaintiffs to collect damages for privacy invasion in the Cowboy State for the first time.

In the cases, Casper area residents Steve Winn, Audrey Kinion and Gretchen Howard had separately filed suit against defendant Aaron’s Sales and Leasing, franchised by Aspen Way Entertainment, Inc.

The rent-to-own company had invaded their privacy, the plaintiffs asserted, by renting them laptop computers which came with software pre-installed to track physical location, monitor key-strokes, capture screen shots and remotely activate the devices’ webcams.

The consumers said Aaron’s Sales and Leasing never informed them the software was installed on their devices.

First in Natrona County Circuit Court, and then in Wyoming’s Seventh District Court before judge Catherine Wilking, Aspen Way argued successfully that Wyoming law recognizes no such right to privacy and therefore the consumers lacked standing to sue.

The Supreme Court decision reverses those findings, and sends the cases back to Circuit Court for further adjudication.

The decision, written by Justice William Hill, due to retire in February, finds that many other jurisdictions recognize a right to privacy even in the absence of specific legislation codifying such a right.

Wyoming has no such statutes on the books, and Aspen Way’s legal team “contends that [the Court] should defer to the legislature to create a privacy cause of action because ‘this Court has had ample opportunity to explicitly adopt a common law cause of action for the invasion of privacy, and has failed to do so,” a footnote in the 14-page decision reads.

Chief Justice E. James Burke, and Justices Hill, Kate Fox, Keith Kautz and Michael Davis were not swayed.

“Currently, the vast majority of states recognize the intrusion strand of invasion of privacy either under common law or by statute,” the decision states.

Indeed, in 46 states a right to privacy is either enshrined in law or recognized under a framework laid out in the American Law Institute’s “Restatement of Torts, Second,” a 1977 treatise on common law in the United States.

According to the decision, New York and Virginia explicitly refuse to recognize a right to privacy, while, before this decision, North Dakota and Wyoming had issued no definitive rulings on the question.

For more than a century, Wyoming has recognized common law as the rule of the land unless specifically contravened by state or federal statute. “The determination we must therefore make is not whether this Court should ‘adopt’ the tort of intrusion upon seclusion, but rather whether the tort has been repealed by statute or is otherwise inconsistent with Wyoming law,” Hill wrote.

The Court found it is not.

Buttressing the Court’s determination was the high-esteem in which Wyoming courts have previously held privacy rights.

Hill wrote that a 1936 Wyoming Supreme Court decision held that “the home is a favorite of the law. It is there that the citizen can claim the right of privacy, the right to be let alone, on clear grounds.”

The computers rented Winn, Kinion and Howard were alleged to have been capable of taking pictures and video of users without their knowledge or consent.

On the legislative side of precedent, Hill cited laws prohibiting the undisclosed monitoring of university and community college students’ communications, anonymous harassing phone calls, and peeping-Tom style spying on places where an “expectation of privacy” exists. Those laws indicate “The Wyoming legislature has recognized the need to protect its citizens’ privacy interests and has acted on this need,” Hill said.

With that basis, he concludes “Given our state’s policy favoring privacy interests and the legislative enactments protecting those interests, we find the tort of intrusion upon seclusion to be well adapted to our circumstances and state of society.”

A separate federal law suit making many of the same allegations was filed by a Casper-area couple in 2011 and has been ongoing since.


State-and-regional
Board receives approval for juvenile drug court program

LARAMIE -- The Albany County Commission recently approved the Albany County Juvenile Board’s plan to treat youth with substance abuse charges in a juvenile drug court, as more controlled substance cases arise.

Albany County Prosecuting Attorney Peggy Trent said about 60 percent of criminal cases in 2017 involved drugs or alcohol. The implementation of the juvenile board’s plan could provide Laramie’s youth with help for dealing with controlled substances and preventing other legal problems down the road, Trent said.

“The drug epidemic is hitting our youth and we need to get ahead of the curve,” Trent said. “The (cases) are not just marijuana. We are dealing with methamphetamines and other types of drug offences.”

The juvenile drug court was inspired by the Albany County Drug Court, she said. Similar to drug court, youth could be referred to the juvenile drug court to receive treatment from medical personnel, who could help treat substance abuse problems, Trent said.