Arizona Statutory Civil Law

Contents

  1. Right to Privacy

    1. Introduction

      There is a constitutional right to privacy in Arizona. The state supreme court has acknowledged that the right to privacy exists within the context of intimate sexual relations. State v. Bateman, 547 P.2d 6, 9 (1976) (superseded by statute on other grounds) (“the right exists within the context of the intimate sexual relations between consenting adults in private”).

    2. Text of constitution

        Ariz. Const. art. II, § 8: “No person shall be disturbed in his private affairs, or his home invaded, without authority of law.”

    3. Cases

      1. Godbehere v. Phoenix Newspapers, Inc., 783 P.2d 781 (1989)
        • Procedural Posture: Sheriffs, deputies, and civilian employees of sheriff's office brought libel and invasion of privacy action against newspapers. The superior court dismissed invasion of privacy claim, stating that plaintiffs must prove the elements of IIED to claim false light invasion of privacy. Plaintiffs appealed, and the court of appeals affirmed. The supreme court granted review to determine whether Arizona should recognize a cause of action for false light invasion of privacy.
        • Law: False light invasion of privacy
        • Facts: Defendant publishers printed over fifty articles, editorials, and columns about plaintiffs' various law enforcement activities, stating that they engaged in illegal activities and generally were incompetent at law enforcement. Defendants argued that there is no need for an independent tort of false light invasion of privacy because the action overlaps with two other recognized torts: defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
        • Outcome: The supreme court held that: (1) cause of action for false light invasion of privacy would be recognized; (2) defendant is not liable unless the publication places the plaintiff in a false light highly offensive to a reasonable person; (3) false light cause of action may arise from publication of true information which creates a false implication about the individual; (4) public official in false light action must show that defendant published with knowledge of false innuendo or with reckless disregard of the truth; and (5) plaintiff cannot sue for false light invasion of privacy if he or she is a public official and the publication relates to the performance of his or her public life or duties.
    4. Practice Pointers

      Where the damage alleged is emotional, the plaintiff must prove the elements of the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress in addition to proving invasion of privacy. Godbehere v. Phoenix Newspapers, Inc., 783 P.2d 781, 785 (1989).

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