Colorado

Colorado recognizes intrusion, private facts and misappropriation. In 2002, the state Supreme Court ruled that it would no longer recognize false light claims.

Intrusion: A private investigator who was hired to determine whether a business was violating zoning laws entered the business property with a telescopic lens. His actions did not intrude upon the business owners’ seclusion. The business owners had no legitimate expectation of privacy in areas of their property visible from a public road, or in actions that violated the law. The court also recognized that business properties often are subject a diminished expectation of privacy. Sundheim v. Board of County Comm’rs, 904 P.2d 1337 (Colo. App. 1995), aff’d on other grounds, 926 P.2d 545 (Colo. 1996).

When a television reporter enters private property to cover a news event of public interest, he cannot be found guilty of trespassing unless he intended to trespass, acted in reckless disregard of the owner’s rights, or the owner suffered damage because of the trespass. Allen v. Combined Communications, 7 Med. L. Rptr. 2417 (D. Colo. 1981).

False Light: Colorado does not recognize false light claims. Denver Pub. Co. v. Bueno, 54 P.3d 893 (Colo. 2002).

Misappropriation: A woman sued a detective who published a newsletter for law enforcement agencies and legal professionals when he included her name and image in a story accusing her of stealing from the brokerage firm at which she worked. The Colorado Supreme Court held that a truthful article about a matter of public interest was privileged under the First Amendment, so the detective was not liable for misappropriation. The court also held that a plaintiff who seeks damages only for emotional injuries and not economic injuries need not prove the value of her identity in order to recover. Joe Dickerson & Associates, LLC v. Dittmar, 34 P.3d 995 (Colo. 2001).