In McEndree v. Rash Curtis & Associates, 2012 WL 1640465 (E.D.Cal. 2012), Judge England found that liability cascaded down through the Rosenthal Act and FDCPA when a debt collector communicated about the debt with a girlfriend whom the debt collector mistakenly believed was the debtor’s spouse. Judge England found liability for impermissibly violating the prohibition against discussing more than location information with third parties (15 U.S.C. § 1692b), impermissibly calling plaintiff at an inconvenient time and location, and making false threats about the debt (i.e. that the debt collector already had sued the Plaintiff’s employer in connection with Plaintiff’s debt). The District Court did find, however, that no invasion of privacy claim would lie.
The Court does not believe that any reasonable jury could find that disclosure to Hartwell alone, an individual with whom Plaintiff resided at the time of the alleged disclosures (the couple had a child together) and later married, constituted a “public disclosure” upon which in invasion of privacy could be predicated. Moreover, the gravamen of the “public disclosure” component of the invasion of privacy tort is that disclosure must be to the public in general or to a large group of people, not to a single individual like Hartwell. See, e.g., Porten v. University of San Francisco, 64 Cal.App.3d 825, 828, 134 Cal.Rptr. 839 (1976). Either way, Plaintiff’s invasion of privacy claim fails as a public disclosure. Defendant is enti-tled to summary adjudication as to Plaintiff’s invasion of privacy claim.