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Anderson v. Mergenhagen

642 S.E.2d 105 (2007)

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Anderson v. Mergenhagen

Georgia Court of Appeals

642 S.E.2d 105 (2007)

Facts

Dick and Karyn Anderson divorced and did not get along well. Dick remarried, and Karyn began harassing Dick’s new wife, Maureen Anderson (plaintiff). After Karyn drove toward Maureen in a threatening manner four times, Maureen contacted the police, and an arrest warrant was issued for Karyn. Karyn then stopped harassing Maureen, but Karyn’s boyfriend, Paul Mergenhagen (defendant), began stalking and harassing Maureen. Mergenhagen repeatedly waited for Maureen to leave her gated community and then followed her around in his car, taking photographs, laughing at her, making obscene gestures, and making sure Maureen knew he was there. Mergenhagen also showed up in places where Maureen was and engaged in similar behavior. When Mergenhagen followed her, Maureen got upset and sometimes abandoned her plans because she was scared that he might do something to harm her or her young children as he followed them around. Maureen became constantly afraid that Mergenhagen would show up wherever she was. Maureen finally sued Mergenhagen, seeking a restraining order and damages for several torts, including an invasion-of-privacy claim. Believing that a physical intrusion was necessary to establish an invasion of privacy, the trial court dismissed Maureen’s invasion-of-privacy claim on the grounds that Mergenhagen had stalked Maureen only in public spaces and had not committed any physical intrusion of a private space. Maureen appealed the dismissal of her invasion-of-privacy claim.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Barnes, C.J.)

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