Owner Not Liable for Harassment, Invasion of Privacy
Facts: A former resident sued the owner of a site for seniors for invasion of privacy and harassment. The resident’s unit was subsidized by HUD and the San Diego Housing Commission, and the resident claimed that he was told that he could stay at site indefinitely as long as he obeyed the rules and regulations.
On Jan. 3, 2011, four detectives from the local police department searched his unit based on a “false and misleading report” that “may have been made” by the site manager and another resident. The resident’s complaint also claimed that on May 31, 2011, the owner served the resident with a 90-day notice of termination of tenancy. The owner asked the court for a judgment without a trial in her favor.
Ruling: A California district court granted the owner’s request.
Reasoning: With regard to the invasion-of-privacy claim, the resident had to show that the owner intentionally intruded, physically or otherwise, upon the solitude or seclusion of another. Here, the resident could produce no evidence that the owner caused the police officers to search his unit. The complaint, which isn’t evidence, merely claimed that the police search “may have been” the result of a report by the manager and another resident. Without evidence, the resident’s invasion-of-privacy claim failed.
The harassment claim was based upon the resident’s eviction. The resident alleged that the owner “kicked a 68-year-old elder veteran out into the streets and left him homeless without any good cause or reason.” Here, the resident didn’t produce any evidence that the owner evicted him to discriminate against or harass him. The legality of the resident’s eviction had already been litigated in the state court, and judgment was entered against the resident. As a result, the harassment claim failed, too.
- Hammerlord v. Wang, April 2013