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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Just read this on Philly.com.

Here's your motive behind their lawsuit. IMO there's alot more to this story than meets the eye.

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/n..._family_is_no_stranger_to_legal_disputes.html

Laptop family is no stranger to legal disputes

By Larry King and Bonnie L. Cook
Inquirer Staff Writers
The vice chairman of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission could scarcely contain his scorn.
Before the commission was yet another appeal from a Philadelphia-area family, again seeking a break on unpaid electric and gas bills that by last year were closing in on $30,000.
This family lived in a $986,000 house on the Main Line. The breadwinner, until recently, had earned well more than $100,000 per year. Yet he and his wife were in hock to creditors, ranging from Uncle Sam to their former synagogue - and had regularly been stiffing Peco Energy for five years, breaking payment plan after payment plan.
"Our procedures," the commission's Tyrone J. Christy wrote in a Dec. 17 motion, "were not meant to allow customers living in $986,000 houses, with incomes in excess of $100,000 per year, to run up arrearages approaching $30,000."
The debtors in question were insurance broker Michael Robbins and his wife, Holly, who now find themselves in the national spotlight after suing the Lower Merion School District, saying it allegedly spied on their child at home via a Web cam on a school-issued laptop.
Before filing the suit, lawyer Mark S. Haltzman said he had warned the family that its members' lives would be placed under a microscope.
"I absolutely advised them, because I know the low level that newspaper people will go to for a story," Haltzman said yesterday, "even if it has nothing to do with the merits of the case."
But the couple could easily have been in the news even without the lawsuit.
Longtime Peco spokesman Michael Wood said this week that the family's debt was the largest household delinquency he could recall, except for one theft-of-services case.
In addition to the Peco debt, the PUC noted, the Robbinses had been hit with numerous civil judgments in recent years totaling more than $365,000.
To Haltzman - who had taken them to court himself in 2002 - their finances and personal lives are irrelevant to the Lower Merion lawsuit.
"Why does that matter?" Haltzman said when asked about the debts this week. "This is typical of any time someone stands up for their rights. Everyone tried to find a way to bring them down."
Even so, it was the apparent failure to pay a fee - a $55 insurance payment to permit the Robbinses' son Blake to take his laptop home from Harriton High School - that might have prompted the district to activate the Web cam.
Haltzman's federal suit makes clear that the family is not necessarily expecting a large payout. "Since the damage suffered by individual class members may be relatively small," the expense of individual litigation might not be affordable without a class action, it says.
Certainly not for the Robbinses.
According to court records, their unpaid debts range from $62,692 owed to the IRS to lesser debts of a few thousand to their dentist, their former synagogue's preschool, and a Montgomery County lawyer.
The Peco bill still stood at more than $29,000 a few weeks ago. But after reaching a new agreement with the utility, the family paid off half of it last week, Wood said.
Haltzman has not made the Robbins family available for extensive interviews, saying the family members' personal life is irrelevant. In a statement issued by the family yesterday, the Robbinses said their lawsuit "is not about . . . us."
Nor would Haltzman address how such an outwardly prosperous family dug itself such a deep financial hole.
It is in the PUC case and other litigation that a picture of the Robbins family begins to emerge.
Michael Robbins, 52, and Holly Robbins, 47, have been married for 22 years. Blake Robbins, 15, is the middle of five children ranging from college age to early grade school.
Michael Robbins is currently embroiled in a legal dispute with his former employer, Interstate Motor Carriers Agency Inc. of Freehold, N.J.
In a federal lawsuit filed by Haltzman last year, Robbins contends that Interstate owes him about $5 million in commissions. Bill Buckley, an attorney for Interstate, declined to comment.
The dispute has taken a financial toll, Holly Robbins said in the PUC file. "Things have dramatically changed with my household income," she wrote.
Her husband, who earned $150,000 in 2007 and $122,000 in 2008, is down to making about $5,000 a month, she said, or $60,000 a year. Their only other household income, she said, was the Social Security Disability Income paid to her mother, a stroke patient who lives with the family.
None of which impressed the PUC, which said most of the debt was accumulated before Michael Robbins' job woes began.
And none of which concerns their privacy lawyer.
"My personal opinion is that it's not relevant," Haltzman said. "I'm not going to get into those issues."
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm not a lawyer, but if a school district GIVES you a laptop for the express purpose of school work and it is NOT being used for such activity then I think they should be able to see what it is being used for.

Rumours abound that the kid was dimed out by a friend for something.....Mike and Ikes
 

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A school district that gives out laptop computers? Taxpayers money for something the parents should purchase. It's a stupid policy for the Board of Ed. And they end up in a lawsuit with some bottom feeders. Big suprise.
 

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I'm not a lawyer, but if a school district GIVES you a laptop for the express purpose of school work and it is NOT being used for such activity then I think they should be able to see what it is being used for.

Rumours abound that the kid was dimed out by a friend for something.....Mike and Ikes
Nobody has any right spy on anyone inside their own home. Not even the cops

The school has every right to check the students computer but not use a webcam to see what's going on in your house.
 

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Being a gov't entity, the school district is bound by all types of constitutional issues, primarily under the 4th amendment.

I wonder how some would feel if it weren't a kids eating candy thought to be a pill, but their young (minor) daughter who was getting dressed in her room & some person in the school district is in some remote location watching her???
 

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Saw the woman from the school last night on the news. She looked like she was going to explode she was so pissed over it and denying the accusations. Next there was the p.o.s. kid whining that she only said that she was not the one that turned the camera on. Kid is being coached.....Everything in life is a result of parenting. $:thumbsdown:$:thumbsdown:$:thumbsdown:....Three thumbs down on the family.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Still doesn't give the school big brother power. The whole board should be dismissed.. That'll teach them :thumbsup:

I have the perfect punishment........sack them from their cushy Lower Merion School Board positions and send them to the Philadelphia Public School system.:eek: My guess is Gratz, FLC, Olney or Germantown High could use some help. Afterall don't people get into teaching for the betterment of kids?

Back to privacy point. I hear that argument loud and clear. Maybe I am old school, but I can say with 100% certainty if I was given a laptop in high school by the school district and was doing something I shouldn't on it, not only would my Mom and Dad not care if I was being watched they'd beat the crap out of me while the camera was rolling:D.

These parents and kid are crumbs and are a perfect representation of what is wrong with modern society.

Pay your electric bills you ballbags!
 

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Just read this on Philly.com.

Here's your motive behind their lawsuit. IMO there's alot more to this story than meets the eye.

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/n..._family_is_no_stranger_to_legal_disputes.html

Laptop family is no stranger to legal disputes

By Larry King and Bonnie L. Cook
Inquirer Staff Writers
The vice chairman of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission could scarcely contain his scorn.
Before the commission was yet another appeal from a Philadelphia-area family, again seeking a break on unpaid electric and gas bills that by last year were closing in on $30,000.
This family lived in a $986,000 house on the Main Line. The breadwinner, until recently, had earned well more than $100,000 per year. Yet he and his wife were in hock to creditors, ranging from Uncle Sam to their former synagogue - and had regularly been stiffing Peco Energy for five years, breaking payment plan after payment plan.
"Our procedures," the commission's Tyrone J. Christy wrote in a Dec. 17 motion, "were not meant to allow customers living in $986,000 houses, with incomes in excess of $100,000 per year, to run up arrearages approaching $30,000."
The debtors in question were insurance broker Michael Robbins and his wife, Holly, who now find themselves in the national spotlight after suing the Lower Merion School District, saying it allegedly spied on their child at home via a Web cam on a school-issued laptop.
Before filing the suit, lawyer Mark S. Haltzman said he had warned the family that its members' lives would be placed under a microscope.
"I absolutely advised them, because I know the low level that newspaper people will go to for a story," Haltzman said yesterday, "even if it has nothing to do with the merits of the case."
But the couple could easily have been in the news even without the lawsuit.
Longtime Peco spokesman Michael Wood said this week that the family's debt was the largest household delinquency he could recall, except for one theft-of-services case.
In addition to the Peco debt, the PUC noted, the Robbinses had been hit with numerous civil judgments in recent years totaling more than $365,000.
To Haltzman - who had taken them to court himself in 2002 - their finances and personal lives are irrelevant to the Lower Merion lawsuit.
"Why does that matter?" Haltzman said when asked about the debts this week. "This is typical of any time someone stands up for their rights. Everyone tried to find a way to bring them down."
Even so, it was the apparent failure to pay a fee - a $55 insurance payment to permit the Robbinses' son Blake to take his laptop home from Harriton High School - that might have prompted the district to activate the Web cam.
Haltzman's federal suit makes clear that the family is not necessarily expecting a large payout. "Since the damage suffered by individual class members may be relatively small," the expense of individual litigation might not be affordable without a class action, it says.
Certainly not for the Robbinses.
According to court records, their unpaid debts range from $62,692 owed to the IRS to lesser debts of a few thousand to their dentist, their former synagogue's preschool, and a Montgomery County lawyer.
The Peco bill still stood at more than $29,000 a few weeks ago. But after reaching a new agreement with the utility, the family paid off half of it last week, Wood said.
Haltzman has not made the Robbins family available for extensive interviews, saying the family members' personal life is irrelevant. In a statement issued by the family yesterday, the Robbinses said their lawsuit "is not about . . . us."
Nor would Haltzman address how such an outwardly prosperous family dug itself such a deep financial hole.
It is in the PUC case and other litigation that a picture of the Robbins family begins to emerge.
Michael Robbins, 52, and Holly Robbins, 47, have been married for 22 years. Blake Robbins, 15, is the middle of five children ranging from college age to early grade school.
Michael Robbins is currently embroiled in a legal dispute with his former employer, Interstate Motor Carriers Agency Inc. of Freehold, N.J.
In a federal lawsuit filed by Haltzman last year, Robbins contends that Interstate owes him about $5 million in commissions. Bill Buckley, an attorney for Interstate, declined to comment.
The dispute has taken a financial toll, Holly Robbins said in the PUC file. "Things have dramatically changed with my household income," she wrote.
Her husband, who earned $150,000 in 2007 and $122,000 in 2008, is down to making about $5,000 a month, she said, or $60,000 a year. Their only other household income, she said, was the Social Security Disability Income paid to her mother, a stroke patient who lives with the family.
None of which impressed the PUC, which said most of the debt was accumulated before Michael Robbins' job woes began.
And none of which concerns their privacy lawyer.
"My personal opinion is that it's not relevant," Haltzman said. "I'm not going to get into those issues."
Without getting into the merits of the case.:thumbsup:

Am I reading that this computer was not to be taken home?:huh: Does that mean he stole it by removing it from the school?
 

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How does someone making $150K or less buy a million dollar home?
Depends on the value at the time of purchase.

This thread shows he is saying that his company owes him $ 5 mil. It SEEMS that the $150. thou might be a salary and not total compensation. How else would he owe $ 62K to the IRS?

other then that, it does not make sense.:huh:
 

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Rumours abound that the kid was dimed out by a friend for something.....Mike and Ikes

Exactly , Story is , " Kid was "skyping with other kids on a differant computer ( not the school issued one ) was bragging that he was " Popping pills" on the video. While actually Mike and Ikes candy , but other kids did not do that .

A schoolmate dimed out his skyping activities to the school authorities....

Kid now is claiming school was watching when they actually were not ..



More to the story later
 

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Without getting into the merits of the case.:thumbsup:

Am I reading that this computer was not to be taken home?:huh: Does that mean he stole it by removing it from the school?
They had to pay a $55 insurance fee to take it home. The kid may not have paid it and that may be why they activated the camera.

No matter what the story is with this kid is doesn't make the school's policy of secretly being about to turn a webcam on in people's homes.
 
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