The Guide is an invaluable online tool for litigation and transactional attorneys. The Guide provides for more than 70 common law causes of action:

- Each action’s elements;
- The most recent state and federal cases that cite the actions’ elements;
- The applicable statute of limitations for each action; and
- Defenses to each cause of action.
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Invasion of Privacy - Intrusion

1 Elements and Case Citations

“[T]he action for intrusion has two elements:

(1) intrusion into a private place, conversation or matter,
(2) in a manner highly offensive to a reasonable person.”

Shulman v. Group W Productions, 18 Cal. 4th 200, 231 (1998) (following Rest.2d Torts, § 652B).

“To prove actionable intrusion, the plaintiff must show the defendant penetrated some zone of physical or sensory privacy surrounding, or obtained unwanted access to data about, the plaintiff. The tort is proven only if the plaintiff had an objectively reasonable expectation of seclusion or solitude in the place, conversation or data source.”  Id.

“[A]ll the circumstances of an intrusion, including the motives or justification of the intruder, are pertinent to the offensiveness element.”  Id. at 236.


Supreme Court of California:  Hernandez v. Hillsides, Inc., 47 Cal. 4th 272, 286 (2009[MMD1]); Shulman v. Group W Productions, 18 Cal. 4th 200, 231 (1998).

California 1st Distirct: Fibreboard Corp. v. Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co., 16 Cal. App. 4th 492, 514 (1993).

California 2d Distirct: Folgelstrom v. Lamps Plus, Inc., 195 Cal. App. 4th 986, 992 (2011); Miller v. National Broadcasting Co[MMD2] ., 187 Cal. App. 3d 1463, 1482 (1986).

California 3d District: Sacramento County Deputy Sheriffs’ Assn. v. County of Sacramento, 51 Cal. App. 4th 1468, 1487 (1996)

California 4thDistrict: Catsouras v. Department of California Highway Patrol, 181 Cal. App. 4th 856, 900 (2010).

California 5th District:  None.

California 6th District: Spinks v. Equity Residential Briarwood Apartments, 171 Cal. App. 4th 1004, 1044 (2009).


United States Court of Appeal for the 9th Circuit: Medical Lab. Mgmt. Consultants v. ABC, 306 F.3d 806, 812-13 (9th Cir. 2002).

Central District: Kleiman v. Equable Ascent, No. CV 12-9729 CAS (AJWx), 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1002, at *8 (C.D. Cal. Jan. 3, 2013).

Eastern District:  Quinlan v. Citimortgage, Inc., No. 2:11-cv-00986-MCE-EFB, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92218, at *5-6 (E.D. Cal. July 1, 2013).

Northern District: Yunker v. Pandora Media, Inc., No. 11-CV-03113 JSW, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42691, at *44 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 26, 2013).

Southern District:  Hammerlord v. Wang, No. 11cv1572-WQH-DHB, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53665, at *10-11 (S.D. Cal. Apr. 15, 2013).

2 Issues and Defenses to Claim for Invasion of Privacy – Public Disclosure of Private Facts

(1)  Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 431.30(b)(2) (pleading affirmative defenses), and other standard defenses.  See Chapter 1 for all defenses.

(2)  Statute of Limitations:  The statute of limitations for invasion of privacy is one year.  Ion Equipment Corp. v. Nelson, 110 Cal. App. 3d 868, 880 (1980) (citing Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 340).

(3)  “Privacy, for purposes of the intrusion tort, is not a binary, all-or-nothing characteristic. There are degrees and nuances to societal recognition of our expectations of privacy: the fact that the privacy one expects in a given setting is not complete or absolute does not render the expectation unreasonable as a matter of law.”  Sanders v. American Broadcasting Companies, 20 Cal.4th 907, 916 (1999)

(4) “As the Restatement definition indicates, the right to be secure from intrusion is not absolute, but instead is subject to an important limitation.  The unintended or mistaken foray into the territory of another does not give rise to liability, nor would damages be awarded for minor incidents of overstepping, which abound in a crowded world.”  Miller v. National Broadcasting Co., 187 Cal. App. 3d 1463, 1482-83 (1986).