I live in MA. My neighbor who lives in the same building entered my apt (my door was unlocked for a second) and took a couple pictures of my room. She overheard the sound of my door closed but not locked; she came out of her apt, opened my door, put her upper body into my apt, and took some pictures of my room. She did not publish those pictures.
The purpose of taking the pictures was to find out "shady" things that she believed that I was doing. I have literally nothing to hide and I seriously think she is crazy. I have no problem if a police comes in any time, but I do have a problem my neighbor opened my apt's door and "gathered" information in my private space assuming that she would find something.
Since I had no sign or notice of "no trespassing" on my apt's door nor locked my door, I believe my neighbor's act does not meet the criteria for trespassing in MA.
However, her act caused a great deal of mental distress. Can her act meet the criteria for the invasion of privacy on the ground of intrusion? If so, is a tort less serious than misdemeanor (such as trespassing)?
I just do not understand how anyone can get away with entering someone's private space without permission (entering means entering any part of one's body)....
If someone could help, I would really really appreciate it.
2 Answers from Attorneys
You should call the local police and tell them what happened. It sounds like the elements of Breaking and Entering with Intent to Commit a Misdemeanor/Felony (probably misdemeanor). The problem with this is that once the first volley is fired (you having her charged), there is usually a retaliatory strike in which she will come up with something to have you charged, and the feud begins. Neighbor disputes, in my experience, go on and on and never end until one person either moves away or passes away. You are far better off serving her a cool drink and a handshake than a criminal summons. However, I certainly understand that some people just aren't open to amiable reconciliation and need to be addressed through the legal process. I sincerely wish you the best and if you are in or around the Worcester area with this problem and need legal council you can reach me at (508) 752-7500 or toll free at (877) 752-7501. For more information on Criminal Defense and Personal Injury (my other practice area) go to my web site by clicking the link below.
You could hire counsel to bring suit on your behalf for violation of your rights. Or you can sit around and complain about it. Best luck, JBS