Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Hamberger v. Eastman case brief

Hamberger v. Eastman case brief summary
206 A.2d 239 (1964)

CASE SYNOPSIS
The Supreme Court of New Hampshire considered a motion to dismiss an action for invasion of privacy for the purpose of determining whether the right of privacy was a recognized tort in the State of New Hampshire.

CASE FACTS
Plaintiff filed an action for invasion of privacy. Defendant filed a motion to dismiss the action on the ground that plaintiff failed to allege that anyone listened to or overheard any sounds or voices that originated from plaintiff's bedroom.

DISCUSSION

  • The state supreme court reviewed the motion to dismiss to determine whether the State of New Hampshire recognized the right of privacy. 
  • The court ruled that an invasion of the right of privacy was not a single tort but that it consisted of four separate torts. 
  • The court classified plaintiff's action as one that alleged an intrusion into his physical and mental solitude or seclusion. 
  • The court found that plaintiff's pleadings sufficiently alleged an invasion of solitude or seclusion, which was an actionable right of privacy tort.
RULES

  • The tort of intrusion upon solitude or seclusion was not limited to the physical invasion of a home or quarters but that it extended to eavesdropping upon private conversations and that a person who unreasonably and seriously interfered with another's interest in not having his affairs know to others was liable for such an intrusion. 
CONCLUSION
The court remanded the action. The court ruled that the tort of invasion of privacy of an invasion of solitude or seclusion was actionable and ruled that defendant's motion to dismiss plaintiff's complaint should be denied.

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