Last week a Michigan judge ruled to dismiss a case involving rapper Dr. Dre and three former City of Detroit employees.
According to the Detroit Free Press, in a ruling issued December 4th but released just yesterday (Dec. 10) Wayne County Circuit Judge John A. Murphy decided that the former officials had no reason to believe a conversation they held with Dr. Dre concert producers in 2000 was private.
The case stems from an incident seven years ago, when cameras captured a conversation between Greg Bowens (spokesman to then-Mayor Dennis Archer), then-police spokeswoman Paula Bridges, then-police Cmdr. Gary Brown and concert producers, where the city officials requested producers refrain from airing a video containing nudity at a July 2000 "Up In Smoke" concert at Joe Louis Arena.
The officials filed suit after the conversation was included on the Up In Smoke DVD, claiming they were videotaped without their knowledge.
In his ruling, Murphy noted that the conversation took place in a room with an open door where at least one of the city employees had entered and exited without difficulty.
"Under the circumstances," the judge wrote, "the plaintiffs could not have a reasonable expectation of privacy."
Attorneys for Dre (born Andre Romell Young) moved to dismiss the case in a previous hearing this October. Judge Murphy's recent decision came as a surprise, since he told the courtroom he was inclined to allow the case to go to trial during the October hearing.
The attorney for the former city officials, Glenn Oliver, said Monday he would appeal the decision. Oliver claimed cameras were hidden during the conversation in question.
Dre's attorney, Herschel Fink, noted on Monday that this is the third time a judge has dismissed litigation by city employees against the rapper over the incident. Dre first won a case against the former city officials in 2003. Then in 2005, Flint, Michigan's U.S. District Judge Paul Gadola dismissed the officials' first federal lawsuit bid, where the trio claimed a violation of federal wiretapping laws. Gadola cited Dre's previous win in court as means to dismiss the case.
Dr. Dre is reportedly planning to release his highly anticipated album Detox in June 2008.