How can I hold liable a government employee who releases private information improperly?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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How can I hold liable a government employee who releases private information improperly?

Someone called in the local tag office and did not verify my information and
was able to obtain the financial status of my tag and registration. How can I
hold the tag office accountable and is there a possible lawsuit?

Asked on May 31, 2016 under Personal Injury, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Have you suffered an economic loss from this? If you have--e.g. if someone somehow used tag, registration, etc. information to open a fake account in your name or buy something in your name--then you could potentially sue the agency due to the presumed negligence, or unreasonable carelessness, of its employee, in not verifying your information before giving out this data.
But the law only provides compensation for actual, provable losses, not for acts which may be wrong but don't harm you. If you have not suffered some concrete loss traceable to this, you do not have a lawsuit; all you can do is contact higher-ups at the agency and complain, or complain to an elected official.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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