Judge dismisses most of legislator’s lawsuit against Texas political consultant

An Oklahoma City federal judge has dismissed a majority of claims made in the lawsuit filed by Moore Rep. Mark McBride against an Austin, Texas political consultant.

U.S. District Judge David Russell ruled recently in support of George C. Shipley, Shipley and Associates, Inc. and John Does who sought to have McBride’s lawsuit dismissed. The suit was filed after McBride found a GPS tracking device located on his pickup truck last year and later accused the wind industry of attempting to damage him because of his anti-wind efforts in the legislature.

The wind industry denied the allegations and Shipley was successful in fighting off two subpoenas from an Oklahoma multi-county grand jury.

In his ruling, Judge Russell dismissed McBride’s claims of trespassing, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence and violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. But he did not dismiss two other claims, one of invasion of privacy and another of civil conspiracy.

The judge, in his order stated, “It is premature to dismiss Plaintiffs’ invasion of privacy claim—-although tracking Plaintiffs movements on public roads does not constitute intrusion upon seclusion, viewing the facts in Plaintiff’s favor, it is plausible that Defendants tracking their movements on private property.”

The ruling on the privacy claim also led to his decision not to dismiss a civil conspiracy claim by McBride.

“Defendants argue that their underlying conduct is not “unlawful,” but the Court’s finding that Plaintiffs allege a plausible invasion of privacy claim disposes of that argument,” wrote Judge Russell.

No trial date has been suit on the lawsuit (CIV-18-205-R).