Invasion of privacy occurs when a person has a reasonable expectation of being left alone. This can be tricky in Los Angeles, where A-list celebrities are spotted eating at a food truck on the street or attending a daughter's soccer game. Nonetheless, some rules protect a person's private life. Determining whether a case is criminal or civil is generally based on details of the case.
Four kinds of invasion of privacy
The four main types of claims are:
- Criminal invasion of privacy: As the title implies, the defendant must commit a crime if this charge is going to hold. This can mean fines or a prison sentence. Common examples include using telescopic cameras or binoculars to invade a person's privacy. It also involves secretly photographing a person. It becomes more severe if disorderly conduct is involved.
- Civil invasion of privacy: This is a legal wrong that damages another person, their reputation or their business, which can lead to financial compensation. Known as a “false light” claim, this involves publishing offensive information said to be accurate but is false.
- Public disclosure of private fact: This happens when a person publicly discloses embarrassing facts (generally regarded as “nobody else's business”) about another person. Typical examples would be publishing naked photos without the consent of the person photographed.
- Misappropriation of name or likeness: This involves using a person's name or likeness for financial benefit without permission. This can include false celebrity endorsements using their likeness, voice, signature, name, or individual style.
Legal help often the best solution
Cases involving an invasion of privacy are often complicated. With this in mind, it is often best to work with an attorney to ensure that a claim is legal and valid. These legal professionals can also listen to a case and provide personalized legal advice based on the specific details of the matter. It is also worth noting that there may be a statute of limitations under certain circumstances, so it is best not to wait to file a claim.
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