Clavir v. Levi – Government Misconduct – CCR Docket 1975

This case concerns the finding of an illegal tracking bug on a car owned by Judy Clavir and Stew Albert, friends of Center attorneys Bill Kunstler and Margaret Ratner. Clavir and Albert came from upstate New York to visit the attorneys in December of last year and soon after, a small electronic device called a beacon or “beeper,” which emits periodic signals that can be picked up on radio frequency, was discovered under the rear bumper of the car. Clavir and Albert noticed a three- car tail which followed them as they were leaving the city. They decided to remain in the city, and while all four were having dinner at a local restaurant, two young women entered, took a flash picture of the four and left. There was also evidence of a live tap on the telephone where they were staying. The beeping device, it was later discovered, was number 107 of an apparently large number of such devices used by the police and the FBI.

On the basis of these facts and other instances of surveillance on Clavir and Albert, a federal civil rights action was filed on March 5, 1976.

Michael Ratner, Paul Chevigny