Can a hotel employee reveala guest has registered thereto a third party?

A few days ago my wife and I separated . I chose to stay in a hotel while I look for an apartment to rent. Two hours after checking in I received a text message from my wife stating, “My friend told me you at the *********** hotel”. Turns out that the hotel receptionist is a friend of my wife’s and after I checked in she picked up the phone and texted or called my wife to inform her of my location. I am upset because I had an expectation of privacy coming here. What does the law say about this type of situation?

Asked on July 18, 2010 under Personal Injury, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It might be difficult to collect anything in this case. First, privacy violations occur when there is an expectation, as you note, of privacy. However, it's not whether or not you personally had an expectation of privacy; it's whether the average "reasonable" person would. It's not clear that the average person would have an expectation of privacy from a spouse--possibly in the case of separation, as here, but it's still far from definite.

Moreover, without some loss you suffered as a result, a legal action would be unavailing--you could be right and yet not be able to receive compensation.

So in answer to your question--it may be that the hotel should not have revealed your location to your separated spouse, but even if they shouldn't have, there is most likely no recourse.

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