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Doe v. Borough of Barrington

729 F. Supp. 376 (1990)

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Doe v. Borough of Barrington

United States District Court for the District of New Jersey

729 F. Supp. 376 (1990)

Facts

John Doe, the husband of Jane Doe (plaintiff), was arrested by officers of the Barrington Police Department (defendant). Prior to the officers’ search of Mr. Doe, he informed them that he had tested positive for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and that they should avoid his lesions for their own safety. Later that day, Mrs. Doe and a friend left the friend’s car idling in the friend’s driveway in the Borough of Runnemede (defendant). The car inadvertently rolled into a fence belonging to Rita DiAngelo. Two officers from the Runnemede Police Department, Steven Van Camp and Russell Smith (defendant), arrived on the scene. Shortly thereafter, Detective Preen of the Barrington Police Department also arrived. Preen told Van Camp privately that Mr. Doe had been arrested that morning and had disclosed that he had AIDS. Van Camp privately relayed this information to Smith. Smith then revealed the information to DiAngelo, suggesting that she should wash her hands to avoid infection. DiAngelo shared Mr. Doe’s diagnosis with other parents who had children in the Does’ school and also informed the media. Local television and newspapers ran the story, and at least one media outlet mentioned the Does by name. Mrs. Doe, individually and on behalf of her children, sued the defendants pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for invasion of their constitutional right to privacy under the Fourteenth Amendment.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Brotman, J.)

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