Intrusion in private places and in a home is the primary weapon of a tyrant. CA law recognizes intrusion tort for violation of privacy.

Of the four privacy torts identified by Prosser, the tort of intrusion into private places, conversations or matter is perhaps the one that best captures the common understanding of an “invasion of privacy.” It encompasses unconsented-to physical intrusion into the home, hospital room or [18 Cal.4th 231] other place the privacy of which is legally recognized, as well as unwarranted sensory intrusions such as eavesdropping, wiretapping, and visual or photographic spying. (See Rest.2d Torts, § 652B, com. b., pp. 378-379, and illustrations.) It is in the intrusion cases that invasion of privacy is most clearly seen as an affront to individual dignity. “[A] measure of personal isolation and personal control over the conditions of its abandonment is of the very essence of personal freedom and dignity, is part of what our culture means by these concepts. A man whose home may be entered at the will of another, whose conversations may be overheard at the will of another, whose marital and familial intimacies may be overseen at the will of another, is less of a man, has less human dignity, on that account. He who may intrude upon another at will is the master of the other and, in fact, intrusion is a primary weapon of the tyrant.” (Bloustein, Privacy as an Aspect of Human Dignity: An Answer to Dean Prosser (1964) 39 N.Y.U. L.Rev. 962, 973-974, fn. omitted.)

Despite its conceptual centrality, the intrusion tort has received less judicial attention than the private facts tort, and its parameters are less clearly defined. The leading California decision is Miller v. National Broadcasting Co., supra, 187 Cal.App.3d 1463 (Miller). Miller, which like the present case involved a news organization’s videotaping the work of emergency medical personnel, adopted the Restatement’s formulation of the cause of action: “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.” (Rest.2d Torts, § 652B; Miller, supra, 187 Cal.App.3d at p. 1482.) The tort is proven only if the plaintiff had an objectively reasonable expectation of seclusion or solitude in the place, conversation or data source. (Rest.2d Torts, § 652B, com. c., p. 379; see, e.g., PETA v. Bobby Berosini, Ltd. (1995) 111 Nev. 615 [895 P.2d 1269, 1280-1281]

Shulman v. Group W Productions, Inc. (1998) – 18 Cal.4th 200, 74 Cal.Rptr.2d 843, 955 P.2d 469.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s