Invasion of Privacy

Invasion of privacy is an area of growing concern, especially for family law and divorce attorneys here in Guilford County. For example, you may have a cause of action regarding the hacking of email or a GPS placed on your car unbeknownst to you, or you may need help defending against such a cause of action. Divorce cases sometimes get ugly and some people tend to fight dirty. Having your email hacked or a GPS placed on your car without your knowledge or permission is a serious matter that you should, with the assistance of an attorney, pursue. 

Considering the other side of the coin, it is also important to have an attorney at your side defending you against such an action. False accusations of domestic violence or torts like invasion of privacy are fairly common in this field as a way to punish the other party or for use as a weapon against them in court. An attorney can help make sure that a false accusation by your estranged spouse, ex-spouse, or ex-partner does as little damage as possible to your case and to your rights. 

To be more specific about invasion of privacy itself as a claim, invasion of privacy is a tort claim that you can bring against the person performing the action that is invading your privacy. North Carolina recognizes the specific tort of invasion of privacy by intrusion into seclusion. This type of invasion of privacy includes the intentional intrusion into the seclusion or solitude of another person or their private affairs or concerns, where a reasonable person would find the intrusion highly offensive. 

In order to have a successful claim for invasion of privacy by intrusion into seclusion, the intrusion does not have to be a physical intrusion – it can include repeated phone calls and text messages or the hacking of your email account. Although the intrusion does not have to be a physical intrusion, a physical intrusion itself can also present a viable claim for intrusion into seclusion. For example, having a GPS placed on your car without your knowledge or permission can count as a physical intrusion violating your right to privacy. 

As you can see from the general definition of this type of invasion of privacy tort, the standard is a reasonable person standard. This means that, in order to have a viable claim for this tort, a reasonable person would have to find the action highly offensive. This is a one size fits all standard and does not take into account the personal characteristics of the victim in the cases. Someone who has dealt with a past history of emotional abuse by an ex-spouse, may be more sensitive when it comes to phone calls and text messages, than someone who has not had those types of experiences. At the end of the day, a claim for invasion of privacy by intrusion into seclusion can only be successful if a reasonable person would find the intrusion highly offensive.

Our competent family law and divorce attorneys here at Woodruff Family Law Group have the experience to handle cases involving an invasion of privacy. Contact us today for an initial consultation regarding invasion of privacy, or any other family law matter. 


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