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California Torts
Copyright 2017, Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., a member of the LexisNexis Group.

4-46 California Torts 46.syn


Invasion of Privacy


Neil M. Levy; Michael M. Golden; Leonard Sacks

Chapter Summary


This chapter discusses tort liability for violation of an individual's right to privacy. It covers the nature and origin of the tort of invasion of privacy, and analyzes the four privacy theories recognized by California courts: intrusion, public disclosure of private facts, false light in the public eye, and appropriation of name or likeness (right of publicity). The chapter explains that the demand for retraction pursuant to California Civil Code Section 48a applies to false light privacy actions, and distinguishes between appropriation actions brought under California Civil Code Section 3344 and those brought under Section 3344.1.

In addition, the chapter discusses other invasion of privacy theories of recovery, including those based on the California Constitution, the Information Practices Act of 1977, the Insurance Information and Privacy Protection Act, the Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act, the Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act, and the Invasion of Privacy Act. The chapter then sets forth defenses common to privacy actions, with a focus on defenses arising under the First Amendment. The chapter also reviews defenses based on truth, newsworthiness, plaintiff's status as a public official or public figure, the newsgathering privilege, the Uniform Single Publication Act, and statute of limitations. Finally, the chapter describes who may bring an action for invasion of privacy and considers what damages are recoverable in privacy actions.

California Torts (Matthew Bender) provides in-depth coverage of virtually all recognized theories of tort liability under California law, including related defenses and immunities. In addition to its substantial focus on California personal injury law, the treatise also covers professional liability and a variety of business tort causes of action, such as unfair competition, intentional or negligent interference with business or contractual relationships, unjust dismissal, and "bad faith" actions. It contains detailed information to help attorneys prepare during every stage of case development, from pretrial to verdict to post trial.


Invasion of privacy in California,right to privacy,intrusion,public disclosure of private facts,false light in public eye,right of publicity,appropriation of name or likeness,retraction,false light privacy actions,Information Practices Act of 1977,Insurance Information and Privacy Protection Act,Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act,Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act,Invasion of Privacy Act,First Amendment,public official,public figure: Uniform Single Publication Act


The closely-related torts of defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress are covered in Chapters 44 and 45, respectively.

For discussion of tort damages generally, see Chapters 50-58.

Liabilities and immunities of public entities and officers are covered in Chapters 60 and 61.

For a thorough discussion of statutes of limitations, see Chapter 71.


For further discussion of the Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act and the Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act, see California Forms of Pleading and Practice (Matthew Bender), Chapter 127, Consumer Protection; and for forms used in tort actions involving invasion of privacy, see Chapter 429, Privacy.

For sample legal arguments on numerous invasion of privacy scenarios, and related sample pleadings, see California Points and Authorities (Matthew Bender), Chapter 183, Privacy: State Constitutional Rights; Chapter 184, Privacy: Invasion of Privacy; Chapter 185, Privacy: Collection, Dissemination and Inspection of Information.

For detailed discussion on punitive damages available in actions for invasion of privacy, see Punitive Damages (Matthew Bender), Chapter 9, Torts.
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