The tort of invasion of privacy is
designed to protect individuals from unreasonable intrusions upon their private
lives by other people. There are several
different factual scenarios under which this tort can apply.
Upon Seclusion. One type of claim
for invasion of privacy arises when the defendant does something to
unreasonably interfere with the privacy of the plaintiff. For an intrusion to be actionable, the matter
into which there was an intrusion must be one which the plaintiff is entitled
to keep private and intended to keep private.
An action arises based on the intrusion itself and no publication is
required on the part of the plaintiff for the tort to be actionable. An intrusion upon seclusion may arise from a
private wiretap, surreptitious videotaping
an invasion of privacy claim based on intrusion upon seclusion, the plaintiff
must prove three things: (1) that there was an intentional intrusion; (2) into
a private place, or affairs of another; and (3) such intrusion would be highly
offensive to a reasonable person. An
intrusion may or may not involve a trespass onto another’s private property.
of Name or Likeness. A claim may be
brought where the defendant uses the name or picture of the plaintiff without
the plaintiff’s consent. For example, if
a company used a name or photo of you for advertising purposes, without getting
your permission, you may have a legal claim.
To succeed on a claim involving an appropriation of name or likeness,
the plaintiff would have to prove that the defendant intentionally took,
appropriated or used the plaintiff’s name or image and that the defendant
benefited or intended to benefit from the name or image.
incidental use of a name or likeness will not give rise to a claim. The fact that you are caught in a photograph
that is published in the newspaper does not mean you have been wronged. The use of the name or image must be for the
purpose of taking advantage of the subject’s reputation or prestige.
Publicity to Private Life. An
invasion of privacy claim may be proven by showing that the defendant has given
publicity to facts about an individual which are not a valid concern to the
public and which would be highly offensive to a reasonable person. It is important that the facts which are
given publicity are private and not public.
In addition, this tort is designed to address information that is
broadly shared. Disclosing information
to a single person may be insufficient to create an action.
a Person in a False Light. An
invasion of privacy claim may be proven by showing that the defendant knowingly
or with reckless disregard for the truth causes another to be publicly placed
in a false light. This occurs when the
defendant gives publicity to something about the plaintiff that is wrong of
misleading, that the information provided by the defendant would be highly
offensive to a reasonable person and the defendant acts knowingly or
recklessly. Publication of true, but confidential
information will not give rise to a claim for placing a person in a false
The information contained on
this page is provided as general information and does not constitute legal
advice. The experienced attorneys at
Baldwin & Briscoe, P.C. can assist you if you are involved in a claim for
invasion of privacy. Contact our office
to schedule a no-obligation consultation to review your rights. A consultation fee may apply.
The Law Offices of Baldwin & Briscoe, P.C. also offers these
Foreclosure, Business Law, Civil Litigation, Criminal Defense, Employment,
Disability, and Consumer Rights, Family Law, Government Contracts Law, Intellectual Property, Personal Injury, Real Estate, Social Security
Disability & Workers’ Compensation and Wills, Trusts, & Estates