Intrusion Upon Solitude or Seclusion

A claim for intrusion upon solitude or seclusion is one of four common law claims for invasion of privacy recognized in the District of Columbia. An intrusion claim is based upon an invasion or interference into a place where the victim has secluded herself (such as her home). The invasion or interference must be unreasonable and serious. A claim may arise, for example, from peeping through windows, opening personal mail, or searching personal belongings.

A victim of intrusion may recover compensatory damages for injury to her privacy interest, emotional distress, and pecuniary losses (such as lost wages).

For information about other civil claims recognized in the District of Columbia, click here. For information about how to use this guide, click here.

[Sources: Douglas C. Melcher, Tort Claims and Defenses in the District of Columbia § 19 (2014), and legal authorities cited therein.]