Claims for Invasion of Privacy
“The right of privacy is the right to be left alone. It is a fundamental and compelling interest. It protects our homes, our families, our thoughts, our emotions, our expressions, our personalities, our freedom of communion and our freedom to associate with the people we choose.” Am. Airlines, Inc. v. Super. Ct. (2003) 114 Cal.App.4th 881, 893.
The state Constitution expressly grants Californians a right of privacy (as well as the public’s “right of access to information concerning the public’s business”). Cal. Const. art. I, § 1, art. I, § 3(b)(1). However, this right is not absolute. This right “protects the individual’s reasonable expectation of privacy against a serious invasion.” Pioneer Electronics, USA, Inc. v. Super. Ct. (2007) 40 Cal.4th 360, 370.
A party asserting a right to privacy must establish three elements:
- a legally protected privacy interest,
- an objectively reasonable expectation of privacy in the given circumstances, and
- a threatened intrusion that is serious.
Williams v. Super. Ct. (2017) 3 Cal.5th 531, 552 citing Hill v. National Collegiate Athletic Assn. (1994) 7 Cal.4th 1, 35-40.
Once these three elements are met, the court must then balance the parties’ competing considerations for and against disclosure of the privacy-protected information. Williams, supra, 3 Cal.5th at 552. Under this balancing test, a compelling interest is required to justify an obvious invasion of an interest fundamental to personal autonomy. Id. at 556. However, whenever lesser interests are at stake, “the strength of the countervailing interest sufficient to warrant disclosure of private information var[ies] according to the strength of the privacy interest itself, the seriousness of the invasion, and the availability of alternatives and protective measures.” Id.
Invasion of Privacy – Tort Liability
Four kinds of activities have been found to violate the constitutional right to privacy and give rise to tort liability:
- intrusion into private matters;
- public disclosure of private facts;
- publicity placing a person in a false light; and
- misappropriation of a person’s name or likeness.
Moreno v. Hanford Sentinel, Inc. (2009) 172 Cal.App.4th 1125, 1129.
Public Records Act (PRA) Requests and Privacy Rights
Disclosure of public records has the potential to impact individual privacy. The PRA defines “public records” broadly to include “any writing containing information relating to the conduct of the public’s business prepared, owned, used, or retained by any state or local agency regardless of physical form or characteristics.” City of San Jose v. Superior Court (1999) 74 Cal.App.4th 1008, 1016-17. Public records can include “personal details about private citizens,” and disclosure may infringe upon privacy interests. Id. (Note, this does not include court records. City of Colton v. Singletary (2012) 206 Cal.App.4th 751, 773 citing Taus v. Loftus (2007) 40 Cal.4th 683, 726.)
Disclosure of public records thus involves two fundamental yet competing interests:
- prevention of secrecy in government; and
- protection of individual privacy
City of San Jose v. Super. Ct. (1999) 74 Cal.App.4th 1008, 1016-17.
This exemption requires the court to “balance two competing interests, both of which the [PRA] seeks to protect—the public’s interest in disclosure and the individual’s interest in personal privacy.” Int’l Federation (2007) 42 Cal.4th 319, 329-30; see also Los Angeles Unified School Dist. v. Super. Ct. (2014) 228 Cal.App.4th 222, 240.
Civil Code section 56.10 provides that “[a] provider of health care, health care service plan, or contractor shall not disclose medical information regarding a patient of the provider of health care or an enrollee or subscriber of a health care service plan without first obtaining an authorization, except as provided in subdivision (b) or (c).” Civ. Code Sec. 56.10(a). Exceptions to subsection (a) include a request by the patient or the patient’s representative pursuant to Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 106 of the Health and Safety Code (commencing with Section 123100). Id., Sec. 56.10(b)(7).
A disclosure under section 56.10(a) requires an affirmative communicative act—i.e., an affirmative sharing of medical information with another person or entity. Sutter Health v. Super. Ct. (2014) 227 Cal.App.4th 1546, 1555-56.
Cell Phone Records
“Modern cell phones are not just another technological convenience. With all they contain and all they may reveal, they hold for many Americans ‘the privacies of life,’ Riley v. California (2014) 573 U.S. 373, 403. The fact that technology now allows an individual to carry such information in his hand does not make the information less worthy of the protection for which the Founders fought.” Id; see also In re Malik J. (2015) 240 Cal. App. 4th 896, 902 (inspection of electronic devices present “significant privacy implications.”).
The party seeking disclosure must show a particularized need for the confidential information sought. The information must be directly relevant to a party’s cause of action and essential to determining the truth of the matters in dispute. Discovery will not be ordered if the information sought is available from other sources or through less intrusive means. Britt v. Super. Ct. (1978) 20 Cal.3d 844, 859-861.
“While the filing of a lawsuit may implicitly bring about a partial waiver of one’s constitutional right of associational privacy, the scope of such waiver must be narrowly rather than expansively construed, so that plaintiffs will not be unduly deterred from instituting lawsuits... [A]n implicit waiver of a party’s constitutional rights encompasses only discovery directly relevant to the plaintiff’s claim and essential to the fair resolution of the lawsuit.” Vinson v. Super. Ct. (1987) 43 Cal.3d 833, 842. The burden is on the party seeking the constitutionally protected information to establish direct relevance. Harris v. Super. Ct. (1992) 3 Cal. App. 4th 661, 665.
176-200 of 6285 results
CASE NAME: Chavez v. Zadeh, et al. CASE NUMBER: BC605607 HEARING DATE: 2/27/17 CALENDAR NUMBER: 9 DATE FILED: 12/30/15 TRIAL DATE: 3/21/17 NOTICE: OK PROCEEDING: Demurrer and Motion to Strike (Complaint) DEMURRING/ MOVING PARTY: Defendants Pearl Zadeh and Yousef Monadjemi OPPOSING PARTY: Plaintiff Alma Chavez COURT’S TENTATIVE RULING The demurrer to the second, third, and fourth causes...
..eges that in September 2012 she entered into a written agreement with Defendants to act as gestational carrier in order to assist Defendants with having a child in exchange for compensation. Plaintiff alleges that she underwent in vitro fertilization, became pregnant, and in May 2013 gave birth to twins who are now in Defendants’ custody. She alleges that a judgment has been entered in the supe...
Feb 27, 2017
- Judge Marc Marmaro
Los Angeles County, CA
Stamatis Stamatopoulos, Plaintiff, v. Alex Yamini, et al., Defendants.Case No.: 19STCV13127Hearing Date: November 22, 2019[TENTATIVE] Order RE:Motion for a protective orderBACKGROUNDA. ComplaintPlaintiff Stamatis Stamatopoulos (“Plaintiff”) commenced this proceeding against Defendants Alex Yamini (“Yamini”) and Larissa Karasseva (“Karasseva”) on April 15, 2019. Plaintiff has named 12337 Gorham LLC...
..2337 Gorham Avenue, Los Angeles, California (“Apartment”). The Apartment is one of two units on the property (“Property”).On August 4, 2017, Yamini and Karasseva purchas...
Nov 22, 2019
- Judge Daniel S. Murphy
Los Angeles County, CA
(1)Plaintiff Fang Wang’s Motion to Compel Robby Ayoub, M.D. to Provide a Further Response to Demand for Identification, Production, and Inspection of Documents, Set One, and Request for Monetary Sanctions Against Defendant is GRANTED.Defendant is ordered to provide, within 15 days, verified supplemental responses to Request for Production of Documents Nos. 3 and 4, and to produce his cell phone bi...
..esponse to Plaintiff’s Request for Production of Documents and has not provided any verified responses.Further, no information regarding text messages, which is typically included in a cell phone bill, was produced by Defendant. As such, Pla...
Nov 18, 2019
- Judge Craig GRIFFIN
Orange County, CA
Re: Nobia Joyce v. Shawn M. Millner, et al. (KC067782) DEMURRER TO FIRST AMENDED CROSS-COMPLAINT Moving Party: Cross-Defendant Nobia Joyce Respondents: Cross-Complainants Shawn M. Millner and Laurence Todd POS: Moving OK; Opposing OK This is a partition action filed by Plaintiff Nobia Joyce (“Joyce”) against her daughter Shawn M. Millner, individually and as trustee for the Shawn Marie Millne...
.. 2. Accounting 3. Conversion 4. Elder Abuse 5. Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress 6. Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress On December 2, 2015, the court granted defendants’ motion to strike out plaintiff’s 4th-6th causes of action. On December 8, 2015, Defendants Shawn M. Millner (in her individual capacity only) and Laurence Todd filed a cross-complaint against plaintiff. The F...
Feb 01, 2017
- Judge Dan Thomas Oki
Los Angeles County, CA
MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (CCP § 437c) TENTATIVE RULING: Plaintiff Michael Washington’s Motion for Summary Judgment is DENIED. SERVICE: [X] Proof of Service Timely Filed (CRC 3.1300) YES [X] Correct Address (CCP §§ 1013, 1013a) YES [X] 75/80 Day Lapse (CCP § 437c(a)) YES (originally not okay, but continuance has corrected the issue) OPPOSITION: Filed on August 15, 2019 [ ] Late [ ] None ...
..without his authorization. On November 6, 2018, the Court heard Plaintiff’s first motion for summary judgment and denied it without prejudice because he failed to serve the moving papers on Defendant in the time prescribed by CCP § 437c(a)(2). On April 5, 2019, Plaintiff filed a second Motion for Summary Judgment (the “Motion”). Defendant filed opposition papers on May 15, 2019. On May 28, 2019...
Oct 22, 2019
James E. Blancarte or Serena R. Murillo
Los Angeles County, CA
Superior Court of California County of Los Angeles Southwest District Torrance Dept. B KATHLEEN RUIZ, Plaintiff, Case No.: YC073179 vs. [Tentative] RULING MARYMOUNT CALIFORNIA UNIVERSITY, et al., Defendants. Hearing Date: March 7, 2019 Moving Parties: Plaintiff Kathleen Ruiz Responding Party: Defendant Marymount California University (“MCU”) Motion to Quash Subpoenas of Plaintiff’s Cell...
..on administrative leave. As to the subpoena to Bay Club, the subpoena is narrowed to March 2016 to the date that plaintiff was placed on administrative leave. BACKGROUND On October 1, 2018, plaintiff Kathleen Ruiz filed a complaint against Marymount California University, Lucas Mamadrid, and Brian Marcotte. On October 22, 2018, plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint. On November 1, 2018, p...
May 07, 2019
Los Angeles County, CA