Illinois Common Law

  1. Invasion of Privacy (General)

    1. Introduction

      The Illinois common law historically recognized four categories of prohibited conduct resulting in a violation of an individual’s privacy: (1) the unreasonable intrusion upon the seclusion of another; (2) a public disclosure of private facts; (3) publicity that reasonably places another in a false light before the public; and (4) an appropriation of another’s name or likeness (commonly referred to as the “right of publicity”). In 1999, the Illinois legislature codified the common law right of publicity as the Right of Publicity Act (discussed above), leaving the three remaining common law privacy claims.1

      Generally, the right against an unreasonable intrusion upon one’s seclusion protects individuals against an intrusion into their private space in order to discover and publicly reveal a private matter about that individual. The right against the unauthorized public disclosure of private facts protects individuals from public disclosure of true, but highly offensive or embarrassing, private facts. The right against being placed in a false light protects individuals from the publication of true details about that individual in a misleading way that falsely portrays her/his character.

      Depending on the circumstances, a victim of non-consensual publication of intimate images may be able to allege all three common law categories of privacy invasions.

    2. Elements

      1. Publication of Private Facts

        1. Publicity was given to private facts;

        2. The facts were private and not public

        3. The matter publicized was highly offensive to a reasonable person; and

        4. The matter publicized was not of legitimate public concern.

      2. Intrusion upon Seclusion

        1. Unauthorized intrusion or prying into the plaintiff’s seclusion;

        2. Intrusion is offensive to a reasonable person;

        3. The matter upon which the intrusion occurs is private; and

        4. The intrusion causes anguish and suffering.

      3. False Light

        1. Defendant’s actions placed plaintiff in a false light;

        2. Plaintiff was in a false light before the public;

        3. The false light would be highly offensive to the reasonable person; and

        4. Defendant acted with actual malice (i.e., knew the information was false or with reckless disregard for its truth).

    3. Cases

      1. Green v. Chicago Tribune Co., 675 N.E. 2d 249 (Ill. Ct. App. 1996)

        • Procedural Posture: Plaintiff appeals the lower court’s dismissal of her claims for invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

        • Law: invasion of privacy (based on publication of private facts); intentional infliction of emotional distress (“IIED”)

        • Facts: Plaintiff filed suit against the Chicago Tribune after it published photographs of her dying son, without her consent, while he received treatment at a county hospital for a bullet wound. Plaintiff alleges the newspaper entered her son’s private hospital room, took unauthorized photographs of him, blocked her from entering the room, eavesdropped on statements she made to her son as he lay dying, and published those statements along with the photographs in an article addressing gang violence and Chicago’s homicide rate.

        • Outcome: Reversing the lower court, the court held that Plaintiff pled sufficient facts to sustain both actions.2

        • Special Notes: Notably, the court found that a private hospital room in a public hospital was not a “public place” for the purpose of a claim for invasion of privacy, and that the general public did not have a right or interest affecting its health, safety or welfare in that hospital room.3

      2. Johnson v. K Mart Corp., 723 N.E. 2d 1192 (Ill. Ct. App. 2000)

        • Procedural Posture: Current and former K Mart employees appeal a summary judgment ruling granted in favor of K Mart on their claims of invasion of privacy and IIED.

        • Law: invasion of privacy (based on public disclosure of private facts and intrusion upon seclusion); intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED)

        • Facts: K Mart hired an investigative security company to conduct an undercover investigation of theft, vandalism and drug use at its distribution center. Undercover investigators posing as employees submitted reports to K Mart containing private information they obtained about its employees, such as their family matters, romantic interests, sexual conduct, future employment plans, and private health issues. The union obtained copies of the reports, and 55 employees filed suit for invasion of privacy.

        • Outcome: Reversing the lower court in part, the appellate court held that disclosures obtained by deceptive means, such as placing undercover investigators posing as employees in the workplace, are not truly voluntary and employees had a reasonable expectation that their conversations would not be published to their employer.4 The court also held that due to the “special nature” of the relationship, disclosure to a limited audience (i.e., the plaintiffs employer) sufficiently satisfies the “public disclosure” element.5 However, the court upheld summary judgment on the IIED claims because the employees failed to establish that they suffered severe emotional distress as required to sustain an action for IIED.

        • Special Notes: Noting a split among Illinois’ appellate courts and the fact that the Illinois Supreme Court had not previously recognized a privacy cause of action based on intrusion upon seclusion, the court expressly recognized a cause of action for invasion of privacy by intrusion upon seclusion, adopting the elements set forth in Melvin v. Burling, 141 Ill. App. 3d 786, 490 N.E.2d 1011 (1986).6

      3. Zboralski v. Monahan, 446 F. Supp. 2d 879 (N.D. Ill. 2006)

        • Procedural Posture: Plaintiff filed suit in federal district court and moves to proceed in forma pauperis (as an indigent).

        • Law: invasion of privacy (based on intrusion upon seclusion)

        • Facts: Plaintiff, a regular visitor to a state detention facility, complained to the detention facility about being subjected to illegal patdown searches, which included an employee placing her fingers in Plaintiff’s vaginal area. The facility replaced the searches with a Rapiscan device to scan her body, producing a naked image of her. Over the course of a two month period, Plaintiff was subjected to 20 to 25 Rapiscan scans, resulting in “‘virtual’ naked image[s]” of her which she alleges were viewed by employees hours after her scan without her consent.

        • Outcome: The court allowed Plaintiff to bring an intrusion upon seclusion claim based on the fact that the Rapiscan machine can show “evidence of mastectomies, colostomy appliances, catheter tubes, and the size of a person’s breasts” which are facts that one may wish to keep private.7

        • Special Notes: While not explicitly recognizing a claim of invasion of privacy based on intrusion upon seclusion, the court noted that the Northern and Central Districts of Illinois have recognized the claim, and therefore elected “at this point” not to dismiss the claim as improper.8

      4. Douglass v. Hustler Magazine, Inc., 769 F. 2d 1128 (7th Cir. 1985).

        • Procedural Posture: An actress brought an action against Hustler magazine for publishing nude photographs of her without her consent. The magazine appeals the district court ruling in favor of the actress.

        • Law: invasion of privacy (based on false light); right of publicity (misappropriation of identity)

        • Facts: Plaintiff, an actress and model, voluntarily posed nude for photographs taken by a freelance photographer for a layout in Playboy magazine. Although the freelance photographer required Plaintiff to sign a release form granting him certain rights over the images, Plaintiff believed the release authorized publication of the photographs in Playboy magazine only. Hustler magazine later published the photographs, including images not previously published in Playboy, without Plaintiff’s permission. Plaintiff alleges that the appearance of her photographs in Hustler Magazine made it appear that she is a lesbian and that she willingly posed for Hustler when she did not, thus painting her in a “false light.”

        • Outcome: Describing the notable difference between the two publications, the court held that Plaintiff had a false light invasion of privacy cause of action against Hustler for portraying her as the kind of person who would pose nude in a vulgar setting.9 The court further held that the magazine violated Plaintiff’s publicity rights by publishing the photographs without her specific consent and without compensation.10

        • Special Notes: The court noted that regardless of whether the photographer was an employee of the magazine or an independent contractor, under the doctrine of respondeat superior, which the court notes is fully applicable to claims of defamation and invasion of privacy, Hustler had an obligation to verify the origin of the photographs.11

    4. Practice Pointers

      • False Light – Often false light and defamation claims apply together, though not all false light cases are defamation cases. A plaintiff may pursue both claims, but can only recovery once for each instance of publicity.12 Failure to allege actual malice or special damages can be fatal to one’s case.13

      • Intrusion upon Seclusion – This claim is especially useful if the victim is unsure whether anyone else viewed the graphic images, since this cause of action does not require that the content is made public. Importantly, though, the intrusion must be into a space or area where the plaintiff maintains a reasonable expectation of privacy over the space.14

      • Privacy claims must be brought within one year after the cause of action accrued.15

    1. 765 ILCS § 1075/1 et seq. 

    2. Green v. Chicago Tribune Co., 675 N.E. 2d 249, 256, 258 (Ill. Ct. App. 1996). 

    3. Id. at 252. 

    4. Johnson v. K Mart Corp., 723 N.E. 2d 1192, 1196 (Ill. Ct. App. 2000). 

    5. Id. at 1197. 

    6. Id. at 1195. 

    7. Zboralski v. Monahan, 446 F. Supp. 2d 879, 885 (N.D. Ill. 2006). 

    8. Id. at 884. 

    9. Douglass v. Hustler Magazine, Inc., 769 F. 2d 1128, 1138 (7th Cir. 1985). 

    10. Id. 

    11. Id. at 1140. 

    12. Kurczaba v. Pollock, 742 N.E. 2d 425 (Ill. Ct. App. 2000). 

    13. Maremont v. Susan Fredman Design Grp., Ltd., 772 F. Supp. 2d 967 (N.D. Ill. 2011). 

    14. See Amati v. City of Woodstock, Ill., 829 F. Supp. 998 (N.D. Ill. 1993) (explaining the act of recording private conduct or conversations alone “ruins the privacy:” “It is not the information that one obtains from such an intrusion that is necessarily tortious, but rather, the fact someone has accessed an area reasonably expected to be private.”). 

    15. 735 ILCS 5/13-201. 

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  2. Defamation

    1. Introduction

      Online harassment involving non-consensual publication of intimate images frequently consists of defamatory statements asserting false allegations of the victim’s character. Generally, a statement is considered defamatory if it harms the victim’s reputation thereby lowering that person in the eyes of the community.

      A statement is defamatory per se if its harm is obvious and apparent on its face.1 Illinois recognizes five categories of statements that are considered defamatory per se:

      (1) Words that impute a person has committed a crime;

      (2) Words that impute a person is infected with a loathsome communicable disease;

      (3) Words that impute a person is unable to perform or lacks integrity in performing his or her employment duties;

      (4) Words that impute a person lacks ability in his or her profession;

      (5) Words that impute a person has engaged in adultery or fornication.2

      The first four categories of statements are recognized under Illinois common law as libelous per se. The fifth category, involving statements that imply that a person is unchaste or immoral or that a person has engaged in adultery was codified as libelous per se by the Illinois legislature under the Slander and Libel Act.3 Courts have held that the statement need not make a direct charge of unchastity if the statement implies it with reasonable certainty. For example, words such as “slut” and “whore” may be equivalent to a charge of fornication or adultery when placed in context, and therefore would be slanderous per se.4

      Statements that are not libelous per se may support an action for defamation per quod. Unlike claims of defamation per se, claims of defamation per quod require that the plaintiff plead and prove actual damages.5

      Statements containing “substantial” truth, statements reasonably capable of an innocent construction, and statements containing an opinion are viable defenses against a defamation claim.6

    2. Elements and Text of the Statute

      1. Common Law Defamation

        1. Defendant made a false statement about the plaintiff;

        2. The defendant made an unprivileged publication of that statement to a third party; and

        3. The statement caused damage to the plaintiff’s reputation.

      2. Slander and Libel Act – 740 ILCS 145/1 et seq.

        § 1. If any person shall falsely use, utter or publish words, which in their common acceptance, shall amount to charge any person with having been guilty of fornication or adultery, such words so spoken shall be deemed actionable, and he shall be deemed guilty of slander

        § 2. It shall be deemed slander, and shall be actionable, to charge any person with swearing falsely, or with having sworn falsely, or for using, uttering or publishing words of, to or concerning any person, which, in their common acceptation, amount to such charge, whether the words be spoken in conversation of, and concerning a judicial proceeding or not.

        § 3. In actions for slander or libel, an unproved allegation of the truth of the matter charged shall not be deemed proof of malice, unless the jury, on the whole case, find that such defense was made with malicious intent. And it shall be competent for the defendant to establish the truth of the matter charged by a preponderance of testimony.

    3. Cases

      1. Bryson v. News America Publications, Inc., 174 Ill.2d 77 (1996)

        • Procedural Posture: Plaintiff appeals an appellate court ruling affirming the dismissal of her defamation claim based on failure to state a claim and on her false light claims as time barred.

        • Law: Defamation and False Light

        • Facts: Defendant News America published a short story in Seventeen magazine titled “Bryson,” written by defendant author, containing statements that Plaintiff is a “slut.” Plaintiff and defendant author are acquaintances, are from the same town, and know people in common.

        • Outcome: The Supreme Court held that calling Plaintiff a “slut” is actionable per se because it amounts to a charge of fornication. The court rejected the “innocent construction” defense, and further concluded that calling someone a “slut” may be interpreted as stating an actual fact. Furthermore, the court found that using the name “Bryson” reasonably refers to the plaintiff and rejected the argument that the story was “labeled as ‘fiction’ and therefore does not purport to describe any real person.”7

    4. Practice Pointers

      • Illinois does not make a distinction between slander and libel; applying the same rules whether the statement is written or oral.

      • “Substantial truth” is an affirmative defense; however, because falsity is also an element of the defamation claim, the plaintiff must sufficiently prove the falsity of the statement, regardless of whether the defendant asserts a truth defense.8

      • Under the “innocent construction rule” a court must consider the statement in context and give the words their natural and obvious meaning.9 However, courts have emphasized that “when the defendant clearly intended and unmistakably conveyed a defamatory meaning, a court should not strain to see an inoffensive gloss on the statement.”10

      • A statement may be defamatory per se and still be constitutionally protected as an opinion. However, the test is restrictive and depends on whether the statement can be reasonably interpreted as stating an actual fact.11

      • Damages available include actual, compensatory and punitive.

      • The statute of limitations for defamation is one year after the cause of the action accrued.12

    1. Solaia Technology, LLC v. Specialty Pub. Co., 221 Ill. 2d 558, 579 (2006). 

    2. Id. 

    3. 740 ILCS 145/1 et seq. 

    4. See Bryson v. News America Publications, Inc., 174 Ill. 2d 77, 93 (1996). 

    5. Bryson,174 Ill. 2d at 87. 

    6. Solaia, 221 Ill. 2d at 580-581. 

    7. Bryson, 174 Ill. 2d at 97. 

    8. Kapotas v. Better Gov’t Ass’n, 30 N.E. 3d 572, 588 (Ill. 2015). 

    9. Id. at 580. 

    10. Solaia, 221 Ill. 2d. at 580 (citing Bryson v. News America Publications, Inc., 174 Ill. 2d 77 (1996)). 

    11. Kapotas, 30 N.E. 3d at 581. 

    12. 135 ILCS 5/13-201. 

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  3. Trespass

    1. Introduction

      Victims of nonconsensual publication of intimate photos or videos may have grounds to bring a trespass claim if the perpetrator obtained the images by trespassing onto the victim’s property. A claim for trespass requires only that the defendant intentionally entered onto the land without permission or right to do so.1 Trespass in Illinois is a strict liability offense, therefore it is not necessary to show unlawful intent.2

    2. Elements

      Entry onto another’s land without permission, invitation, or other rights.3

    3. Cases

      There are no relevant cases at this time.

    4. Practice Pointers

      • Claims for trespass and intrusion upon seclusion often overlap.4 To the extent an intrusion upon seclusion claim involves property owned by the victim, a WMC victim should bring both trespass and intrusion upon seclusion claims.

      • Claims for trespass must be brought within five years after the cause of action accrued.5

    1. Dial v. City of O'Fallon, 81 Ill. 2d 548, 553, 411 N.E.2d 217, 220 (1980) (“[C]onduct intended to cause an intrusion on the plaintiff’s premises [is the] only…type of invasion wherein recovery may be sought purely on the basis of the tort of trespass.”) 

    2. Burns Philp Food, Inc. v. Cavalea Cont'l Freight, Inc., 135 F.3d 526, 529 (7th Cir. 1998). 

    3. Hendle v. Stevens, 224 Ill. App. 3d 1046, 1055, 586 N.E.2d 826, 832 (1992). 

    4. Green v. Chicago Tribune Co., 286 Ill. App. 3d 1, 16, 675 N.E.2d 249, 259 (1996). 

    5. 735 ILCS 5/13-202. 

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  4. Trespass to Chattels

    1. Introduction

      Illinois courts have not recognized a claim for trespass to chattels involving intangible property such as digital photographs or video, therefore it is unlikely that a WMC victim would have a claim for trespass to chattels. In the event the perpetrator stole tangible photographs or video recordings, and permanently deprived the victim of such images, a claim for conversion may be more appropriate. A WMC victim might have grounds to bring a claim for trespass to chattels if the perpetrator obtained the images by trespassing onto the victim’s personal property, such as the victim’s computer or mobile phone, however any damages calculations for such claims will likely be limited to the trespass to the tangible device, not the digital images.1

    2. Elements

      1. Injury to, or interference with possession of, personal property;

      2. With or without force.2

    3. Cases

      There are no relevant cases at this time.

    4. Practice Pointers

      • Trespass to chattels involves a temporary interference with the possession of personal property. Therefore, WMC victims who have been permanently deprived of tangible photographs or videos should bring a claim for conversion rather than trespass to chattels.

      • Claims for trespass to chattels must be brought within five years after the cause of action accrued.3

    1. Ogbolumani v. Young, 2015 IL App (1st) 141930-U, ¶ 33 appeal denied, 39 N.E.3d 1004 (Ill. 2015) (“[T]here is no recognized cause of action in Illinois for a trespass to chattel claim based on trespass to an intangible such as digital information contained on a USB drive. Digital information such as plaintiff’s data files on the USB drive is not tangible personal property and therefore is not chattel.”) Note: this decision is a non-binding memorandum order and may not be cited as precedential. 

    2. Luis v. Smith Partners & Associates, Ltd., No. 12 C 2922, 2012 WL 5077726, at *6 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 18, 2012). 

    3. 735 ILCS 5/13-202. 

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  5. Conversion

    1. Introduction

      With limited exceptions, Illinois courts recognize claims for conversion involving only tangible property.1 Therefore, a victim of non-consensual online publication of digital images likely does not have a claim for conversion unless the perpetrator stole tangible photos or videotapes from the victim.

    2. Elements

      1. A right in the property;

      2. A right to immediate possession;

      3. Defendant’s wrongful control; and

      4. Demand for possession.2

    3. Cases

      There are no relevant cases at this time.

    4. Practice Pointers

      A claim for conversion must be brought within five years after the cause of action accrued.3

    1. See In re Thebus, 108 Ill.2d 255, 260, 91 Ill.Dec. 623, 483 N.E.2d 1258, 1260 (1985) (“In discussing the history and development of the tort of conversion in another case, our supreme court concluded that “the subject of conversion is required to be an identifiable object of property of which the plaintiff was wrongfully deprived. Money may be the subject of conversion, but it must be capable of being described as a specific chattel.”). See also The Film & Tape Works, Inc. v. Junetwenty Films, Inc., 368 Ill. App. 3d 462, 475, 856 N.E.2d 612, 624 (2006) (“Notably, in discussing the documents in which intangible rights may be merged, the Restatement enumerates “promissory notes, bonds, bills of exchange, share certificates and warehouse receipts, whether negotiable or non-negotiable” citing Restatement (Second) of Torts § 242, Comment b, at 473–74 (1965)). 

    2. Ruiz v. Wolf, 250 Ill. App. 3d 121, 124, 621 N.E.2d 67, 69 (1993). 

    3. 735 ILCS 5/13-202. 

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  6. Breach of Contract/Promissory Estoppel

    1. Introduction

      A victim of non-consensual publication of intimate images may have a claim for promissory estoppel if the parties orally agreed to make private images on the condition that such images be kept private. Promissory estoppel is used by Illinois courts to imply a contract where a written contract does not exist. Promissory estoppel does not require fraud or an intent to deceive.1 In the event the parties executed a written contract, breach would be determined according to the written terms of the contract.

    2. Elements

      1. An unambiguous promise;

      2. Reliance on such promise by the party to whom it is made;

      3. Reliance is expected and foreseeable by the party making the promise; and

      4. Injury caused by such reliance.2

    3. Cases

      There are no relevant cases at this time.

    4. Practice Pointers

      Claims for promissory estoppel must be brought within five years after the cause of action accrued.3

    1. S. M. Wilson & Co. v. Prepakt Concrete Co., 23 Ill. App. 3d 137, 139, 318 N.E.2d 722, 724 (1974). 

    2. Id. 

    3. 735 ILCS 5/13-205. 

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  7. Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (“IIED”)

    1. Introduction

      Most victims of non-consensual publication of intimate images experience emotional distress, including feelings of anxiety, depression, fear and shame. If a victim successfully pleads a violation of privacy or a defamation claim, s/he may also assert a claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress (“IIED”). Conduct deemed sufficient to create liability for IIED is conduct that goes “beyond all possible bounds of decency” and must assert more than insults, threats and indignities.1 Furthermore, the distress must be severe; feelings of mere stress or distrust are insufficient to support a cause of action.2

    2. Elements

      1. Defendant’s conduct is extreme and outrageous;

      2. Defendant knew that severe emotional distress was certain or substantially certain to result from such conduct;

      3. Defendant’s conduct in fact caused the plaintiff severe emotional distress.

    3. Cases

      1. Bittman v. Fox, 107 F. Supp. 3d 896 (N.D. Ill. 2015)

        • Procedural Posture: Defendants move to dismiss state and federal claims for failure to state a claim.

        • Law: invasion of privacy (based on defamation and false light); IIED

        • Facts: Plaintiff, a public relations representative of a local library, alleges that the defendants made false and defamatory statements about her after they were displeased by her response to their complaints regarding the library’s internet use policy. She claims they made defamatory statements falsely imputing criminal conduct to her, statements falsely accusing her of discriminatory conduct, and a photograph of her implying she drinks at work. Defendants also went to Plaintiff’s personal residence to take photos of her home and post them on a Facebook page they created to ridicule Plaintiff and defame her business.

        • Outcome: The court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss all claims. In particular, the court noted that while the defendants “engaged in a pattern of distasteful, mean-spirited, and vindictive conduct, which surely caused Plaintiff some degree of frustration and mental anguish” the conduct did not meet the high standard of extreme and outrageous conduct.3 The court emphasized that “under no circumstances [do] mere insults, indignities, threats, annoyances, petty oppressions, or other trivialities qualify as outrageous conduct.”4

    4. Practice Pointers

      Claims for IIED must be brought within two years after the action accrued.5

    1. Green, 286 Ill. App. 3d at 11. 

    2. Johnson, 311 Ill. App. 3d at 580. 

    3. Bittman v. Fox, 107 F. Supp. 3d 896 (N.D. Ill. 2015). 

    4. Id. 

    5. 735 ILCS 5/13-202. 

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  8. Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress

    1. Introduction

      There are limited circumstances in which it may be possible for a WMC victim to bring a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress (“NIED”). Illinois recognizes a direct claim for NIED in circumstances in which there is a duty owed by the defendant to the plaintiff, the breach of which causes the plaintiff emotional distress. Whether there is a duty owed by the defendant is a question of law to be decided by the court.1 In making the determination of whether a duty exists, courts look at various policy considerations, including the likelihood of harm, the gravity of the injury, and the relationship between the parties.2

    2. Elements

      1. The defendant owed a legal duty to the plaintiff;

      2. The defendant breached that duty;

      3. Defendant’s breach proximately caused the plaintiff’s emotional distress; and

      4. The plaintiff experienced emotional distress (physical injury or illness is not required).3

    3. Cases

      There are no relevant cases at this time.

    4. Practice Pointers

      Claims for NIED must be brought within two years after the action accrued.4

    1. Corgan v. Muehling, 143 Ill. 2d 296, 306, 574 N.E.2d 602, 606 (1991). 

    2. Id. 

    3. Id. at 607. 

    4. 735 ILCS 5/13-202. 

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  9. Prima Facie Tort

    No Illinois case law suggests that WMC victims may bring claims for prima facie tort in the absence of an established tort.

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  10. Injurious Falsehood

    Injurious falsehood has not been recognized in Illinois.1

    1. Becker v. Zellner, 292 Ill. App. 3d 116, 128, 684 N.E.2d 1378, 1387 (1997). 

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  11. Negligent Media Publication

    Negligent media publication, as a cause of action distinct from defamation, has not been recognized in Illinois.

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  12. Conspiracy

    1. Introduction

      Situations involving non-consensual publication of intimate images often involve more than one perpetrator. If so, the victim may bring a claim for civil conspiracy, which is recognized as a distinct cause of action under Illinois law.

    2. Elements

      1. An agreement between two or more persons;

      2. To participate in an unlawful act, or a lawful act in an unlawful manner;

      3. An injury caused by an unlawful overt act caused by one of the parties; and

      4. The overt act was done pursuant to and in furtherance of a common scheme.1

    3. Cases

      There are no relevant cases at this time.

    4. Practice Pointers

      Civil conspiracy is an intentional tort and requires proof that the “defendant knowingly and voluntarily participated in a common scheme to commit an unlawful act or a lawful act in an unlawful manner.”2

    1. Clarage v. Kuzma, 342 Ill. App. 3d 573, 583, 795 N.E.2d 348, 357-58 (2003). 

    2. Adcock v. Brakegate, Ltd., 164 Ill. 2d 54, 64, 645 N.E.2d 888, 894 (1994). 

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