Right to Privacy Cases Overview
Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors | Last reviewed December 04, 2018
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Invasion of privacy can occur in many ways. Let's say you're in an elevator with your friend along with other people. You tell your friend private information knowing that other people are listening to your conversation. Even if one of the strangers discloses that private information without your permission, your right to privacy has not be violated. However, if you're having that private conversation at home, and someone uses a device to eavesdrop, then you might have a valid invasion of privacy claim. Read on to find out how right to privacy cases work.
What Is Right to Privacy?
Right to privacy cases (also called invasion of privacy) deal with a violation of a person's right to be free from intrusion into or publicly disclosing matters of a personal nature. Invasion of privacy is part of a legal area called tort law, which allows you to bring a civil lawsuit against a person or an entity in order to receive compensation for your losses or injuries. To assert a valid invasion of privacy claim, you must show: (1) you had a reasonable expectation of privacy, and (2) there was an unlawful disclosure or discovery of a private matter that an average person would find offensive.
Different Types of Right to Privacy Claims
Right to privacy can refer to many different actions. Here are four of the most common types of invasion of privacy claims:
- Intrusion of Solitude: This refers to invasion of your solitude or private affairs. Unlike other types of right to privacy claims, intrusion of solitude does not require publication of private facts or images. The act alone violates the law.
- Appropriation of Name or Likeness: This is violated when a person or an entity uses your name or likeness for benefit without permission. Some states limit this type of action to commercial uses only.
- Public Disclosure of Private Facts: This type of invasion of privacy involves a public disclosure of a non-public concern that a reasonable person would find offensive if made public.
- False Light: This refers to the public disclosure of information that is misleading. The disclosed information need not be false. The three elements of a false light action are: (1) a publication by the defendant about the plaintiff; (2) it was done with reckless disregard; (3) it places the plaintiff in a false light; and (4) it would be highly offensive or embarrassing to a reasonable person.
Before Filing a Right To Privacy Claim
Before you file a lawsuit, you need to make sure you have a valid claim by having a proper cause of action. To have a cause of action in a right to privacy case, you must show elements required by the state law. In addition to a reasonable expectation of privacy, there may be additional elements states require for individual causes of action. After you acquired necessary evidence or information showing all of the elements of invasion of privacy, prepare yourself to file a complaint. It's highly advisable to consult with an attorney before you take any legal actions.
Right To Privacy Remedies
Generally, when you file a lawsuit, you can demand any of the following: (1) compensatory damages for the harm you suffered, (2) disgorgement, or (3) injunctive relief. Available remedies will depend on your circumstances and specific state laws.
You may have suffered physically and emotionally from invasion of privacy. However, an invasion of privacy claim may be unavailable in certain cases. There are exceptions and limited protections for public officials or public figures who put themselves in public eye.
Get Professional Legal Help With Your Invasion of Privacy Claim
Right to privacy cases involve complex legal concepts and analysis. To successfully file a lawsuit, you need to understand all applicable laws involved. If your privacy rights have been violated, you may benefit from speaking with a personal injury attorney located near you.
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.
Contact a qualified personal injury attorney to make sure your rights are protected.