New Mexico

New Mexico recognizes the four privacy torts.

False Light: An artist drew a sketch of a normal Navajo child that later became a design for note cards sold to benefit United Cerebral Palsy. The publication of a photograph of the sketch alongside a newspaper article about the card’s sale did not portray the child in a false light. The court said that while traditional Navajo might believe the child would have bad luck later in life because the photo associated her with cerebral palsy, “persons of ordinary sensibilities” would not find the portrayal offensive. Bitsie v. Walston, 515 P.2d 659 (N.M. Ct. App. 1973).

Misappropriation: The photograph of a Navajo woman and her son published with an article about the work of a deceased photographer was not misappropriation because the photograph was used for an illustrative, not commercial, purpose. Bennally v. Hundred Arrows Press, 614 F.Supp. 969 (D.N.M. 1985), rev’d on other grounds, 858 F.2d 618 (10th Cir. 1988).