Rohan Beyts, 62, may have been caught with her pants down but that won’t stop her from suing President-elect Donald Trump’s golf course in Scotland.
The environmental activist is accused of urinating on the Trump International Golf Course (TIGC) at Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire, but a Scottish small claims court decided last week that she can seek damages – if the business used a recording device to videotape Beyts urinating next to the green. A civil trial has been scheduled for April 2017 pitting Beyts against Trump International.
Beyts does volunteer work for the UK-based John Muir Trust, an environmental group that seeks to preserve wetlands and has criticized the environmental impact of Trump’s golf resort.
Beyts alleges that the golf course captured footage of her relieving herself behind a sand dune in April 2016 and delivered the recording to local police, but did not seek her permission to do so. Police later showed up at her door and charged her with public annoyance.
Solicitor Mike Dailly, Beyt’s lawyer brought the suit against the golf course, arguing that it was a violation of the UK Data Protection Act. He is seeking damages of ₤3,000 or approximately $4,500.
He successfully presented that case last week at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.
After being awarded a trial date, Dailly said, “Although the defendant sought to have the case dismissed as incompetent, or transferred to the ordinary courts with unlimited expenses, or transferred to Aberdeen, all attempts to stop the case progressing were rejected by the sheriff. So now there is a case to answer, and witnesses will have to give evidence on behalf of TIGC.”
Beyts, a retired social worker, said she was glad the case was going ahead and the date set down for the case in April marked about one year since the incident.
After first hearing of the lawsuit, the Trump resort was quick to suggest that Beyts was already an environmental critic of the golf course and that her claims were “factually inaccurate, grossly misleading and have no legal basis.” After the lawsuit was allowed to continue, a spokeswoman for Trump International said: “Our position on Rohan Beyts’s claim remains unchanged and the matter is now in the hands of our lawyers.”