What constitutes an invasion of privacy by a repair man?

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What constitutes an invasion of privacy by a repair man?

If the maintenance guy came in to fix the washer is it an invasion of privacy if he looks in other rooms that are closed off when we didn’t ask him to?

Asked on November 10, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Is what he did improper? Yes. Could you complain to his  employer? Certainly. Could you have him arrested for trespassing? Almost certainly not--it would be very difficult to prove, under the circumstances, that he truly acted with criminal intent and did not, for example, make an innocent mistake, get lost, was looking for you, etc. Could you sue him in civil court? No, not unless there was some injury or damage--lawsuits are designed to compensate people for their losses, so in almost all cases, if there is no injury--no stolen property or information, etc.--there's  no lawsuit. If he took anything, that would be a different story--then it's theft. Or if you can show he stole confidential or private information, you might also have a cause of action. But almost certainly not for simply looking in rooms he shouldn't have.


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