If my parents opened a letter addressed to me and I am 18 years old, canI sue them for violating my privacy?

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If my parents opened a letter addressed to me and I am 18 years old, canI sue them for violating my privacy?

I do not live in their household anymore.

Asked on January 7, 2012 under Personal Injury, Pennsylvania

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Here is where we begin an analysis of technical law and of course, the issue of morals and whether something is the exact reason behind the intent of the law. While privacy in mail matters is serious, the issue of whether you can sue and win against your parents largely depends on a number of factors. If you lived at this home at one point and your parents opened your mail thinking it was theirs, I don't believe a court is going to assert any liiability against them for the simple act of opening because the intent behind the law is not there. The simple act of opening your mail may not be in and of itself sufficient to sustain a lawsuit regarding an invasion of privacy. Factors brought forward by their attorney, by them or the court will include such things as what was the mail, did they do anything with it to hurt you or steal your identity or worse or did they simply return it to you after it was opened? The scenario would be different and the outcome would most likely be different if we were talking about a neighbor taking your mail, taking money belonging to you, or using your credit card statement to purchase items, for example.


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