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Close, Not Exact Match

Stien v. Marriott Ownership Resorts, 944 P.2d 374

Utah Court Of Appeals










Overview of the Right To Be Left Alone

Quick Notes

This case book establishes the rules of privacy. 

Book Name

Torts Cases, Problems, And Exercises.  Weaver, Third Edition.  ISBN:  978-1-4224-7220-0.



o         Whether?













Law Of Privacy (Dean Prosser Wrote)

o         The law of privacy comprises four distinct kinds of invasion of four different interests of the plaintiff, which are tied together by the common name, but otherwise have almost nothing in common except that each represents an interference with the right of the plaintiff, in the phrase coined by Judge Cooley, "to be let alone."


Four privacy torts are:

1.       Intrusion upon the plaintiff's seclusion or solitude, or into plaintiff's private affairs,

2.       Appropriation, for the defendant's advantage, of the plaintiff's name or likeness,

3.       Public disclosure of embarrassing private facts about the plaintiff, and

4.       Publicity which places the plaintiff in a false light in the public eye


Establish a claim of intrusion upon seclusion, the plaintiff must prove two elements by a preponderance of the evidence:

1.       That there was "an intentional substantial intrusion, physically or otherwise, upon the solitude or seclusion of the complaining party," and

2.       That the intrusion "would be highly offensive to the reasonable person.


To Recover for appropriation of name or likeness requires a plaintiff to establish

1.       appropriation [set aside],

2.       of another's name or likeness that has some intrinsic value,

3.       for the use or benefit of another.


Publicity given to private facts about the plaintiff

1.       the disclosure of the private facts must be a public disclosure and not a private one;

2.       the facts disclosed to the public must be private facts, and not public ones; and

3.       the matter made public must be one that would be highly offensive and objectionable to a reasonable person of ordinary sensibilities.

4.       Restatement:  That the public must not have a legitimate interest in having the information made available.


False light privacy tort

The false light privacy tort provides that one is subject to liability to another for invasion of privacy if

1.       He or she gives publicity to a matter concerning another that places the other before the public in a false light;

2.       the false light in which the other was placed would be highly offensive to a reasonable person; and

3.       the actor had knowledge of or acted in reckless disregard as to the falsity of the publicized matter and the false light in which the other would be placed.


False Light is Closely Allied with Defamation

o        A false light claim is closely allied with an action for defamation, and the same considerations apply to each.

o        Under the law of defamation, a parody or spoof that no reasonable person would read as a factual statement, or as anything other than a joke cannot be actionable as defamation.

o        Similarly, an action for false light invasion of privacy cannot survive when the publication or statement sued upon cannot be reasonably viewed as a factual claim and is nothing more than a joke or a spoof


Class Notes