Intrusion into Seclusion

statue-of-liberty serious charges

§ 652B. Intrusion upon Seclusion

One who intentionally intrudes, physically or otherwise, upon the solitude or seclusion of another or his private affairs or concerns, is subject to liability to the other for invasion of his privacy, if the intrusion would be highly offensive to a reasonable person.

An action pursuant to this section does not depend upon any publicity given to the person whose interest is invaded or to his affairs. Restatement (Second) of Torts § 652B, comment a. The invasion may be (1) by physical intrusion into a place where the plaintiff has secluded himself, (2) by use of the defendant’s senses to oversee or overhear the plaintiff’s private affairs, or (3) some other form of investigation or examination into plaintiff’s private concerns. Id., comment b.

The defendant is subject to liability under this section only when he has intruded into a private place, or has otherwise invaded a private seclusion that the plaintiff has thrown about his person or affairs. Id., comment c; Fogel v. Forbes, Inc., 500 F.Supp. at 1087. There is also no liability unless the interference with the plaintiff’s seclusion is substantial and would be highly offensive to the ordinary reasonable person. Restatement (Second) of Torts § 652B, comment d.

The courts will look at how the alleged invasion of privacy occurred. Were the private details about the plaintiff obtained by means of an intentional intrusion?

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