Would I have to pay for someone else’s phone if I break it due to them violating my privacy?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Would I have to pay for someone else’s phone if I break it due to them violating my privacy?

I am 22 and I had a little run in with an underage minor 16 year old the other day. We were at a public setting and he was violating my privacy by video recording on Snapchat without my consent. I was having a personal conversation with another person. I was offended and I tried to approach to him about it in a mature rational way. It was difficult because he was being very disrespectful when I told him my thoughts and feelings about it. I got a little heated and told him,

Asked on October 16, 2017 under Criminal Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Of course you'd be liable for his phone: whenever your break another's property, you  are liable for it and to pay it's repair cost (if it can be repaired) or its then-current value. There is no privilege or right to destroy property that is being used to harass you.
Other things to bear in mind:
1) Intentionally destroying another property is a crime: you could face charges.
2) If you touched him in any way to do this, you'd have committed assault--another crime.
3) He has the legal right to video or photograph you in public and post the image(s) so long as he is not doing so for a commercial purposes (e.g. directly or indirectly makes money off it)--we can all be photographed or videorecorded in a public location.

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