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Invasion of Privacy

Nashville Attorney Protecting the Rights of Victims

There are many ways in which a person’s privacy can be invaded. A common example is an invasion of privacy when somebody has been filmed without consent. Other invasions of privacy may involve intercepting phone calls, eavesdropping, or photographing an individual without consent. Releasing private health information is another privacy violation. Establishing liability for a privacy violation requires proving certain elements. If you were subjected to an invasion of privacy in Tennessee, you should consult Nashville privacy lawyer Amanda Raye Thornton.

Statutory Invasion of Privacy

Under Tennessee Code Annotated 39-13-607, you can pursue civil litigation against someone who has invaded your privacy, and that person also may face criminal prosecution. It is an invasion of privacy for someone to observe, spy upon, or look at an individual when that person is in a place where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy, the person did not provide prior effective consent, the viewing would embarrass or offend an ordinary person if the person knew that they were being viewed, and the viewing was meant to gratify or sexually arouse the defendant.

In addition to facing a civil claim, a defendant may face criminal charges under section 39-13-607. A defendant may be liable even if he or she was lawfully on the property where the invasion of privacy took place. This is a Class A misdemeanor.

Common Law Invasion of Privacy Tort

There is also a common law invasion of privacy tort. A privacy attorney in Nashville may bring a claim under the common law if the statutory definition does not apply. The Restatement (Second) of Torts 652B provides that somebody who intentionally intrudes, either physically or in another way, upon another person’s seclusion or solitude is subject to liability for invasion of privacy.

In 2001, a Tennessee Supreme Court case determined that somebody who invades the right of privacy of another person will face liability for the resulting harm to the interests of the victim. The right of privacy is invaded when there is an unreasonable intrusion upon another person’s seclusion, unreasonable publicity given to another person’s private life, appropriation of another person’s name or likeness, and publicity that unreasonably puts another person in a false light before the public. Under Tennessee law, an unreasonable intrusion upon seclusion involves a purposeful intrusion upon another person’s solitude, private affairs, or concerns, when a reasonable person would find the intrusion highly offensive. What counts as offensive depends on the circumstances, including the extent of the intrusion, the intruder’s purpose in intruding, the setting at issue in the intrusion, and the expectations of the victim. Nothing private need be made public for this remedy to apply, whereas the unreasonable publicity remedy involves revealing private matters or untrue matters. A Nashville privacy attorney can help determine which type of remedy best suits your situation.

The type of invasion of privacy does not hinge on publicity given to somebody whose interest is invaded or their affairs. Instead, it involves an intentional interference with an interest in seclusion or solitude regarding that person or their private affairs. This intentional interference needs to be of a sort that a reasonable person would find highly offensive. Additionally, the seclusion at issue needs to be substantial, such that an ordinary, reasonable person would find the intrusion highly offensive. For example, someone knocking on the door once would not engender liability, but if somebody stayed at your door while knocking repeatedly, you may be able to establish liability.

To obtain monetary damages, your attorney will need to show that you were actually harmed by the invasion of privacy.

Consult a Knowledgeable Privacy Lawyer

The law recognizes that there are aspects of life that belong purely to an individual. If you were harmed by an invasion of privacy, you should consult Amanda Raye Thornton. She represents people who need a privacy lawyer in Nashville and other areas of Davidson, Williamson, Lincoln, Marshall, Maury, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner, Warren, and Wilson Counties. Call us at (615) 485-1584 or (615) 470-2222, or contact us online.

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