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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Looking for a lawyer who can help with a privacy issue. An

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Looking for a lawyer who can help with a privacy issue. An ex boyfriend who has nude pictures of me has been distributing these pictures to his friends and acquaintances. Legally, is there a way to file an injunction and keep him from doing that?

Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am very sorry for your situation. Can you please tell me:

1) Did he originally take these photographs with your permission, or without? Or did you give them these photographs? In other words, what is the back story?
2) How old are you in the photographs?
3) Is he selling them, or simply giving them away for free?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

thanks Ely for your prompt response. no he never took any of these pics. these are pics took and sent to him. they were only meant for him. I was 35 years old in the pictures. His wife found the pictures and found out about the affair. Intially, only the wife sent them to some people se knows and he do anything to stop her from doing this. Now that him a had a falling out he has started to do the same thing too. He is not selling them but is distributing them. should copyright those pictures and consequently keep them from doing this? or should file an injunction? please help. thanks!

Thank you for your reply. Please allow me one second while I am typing out an answer; apologies in advance for the wait.
My apologies for the wait.

On this website, I do not always get to give good news, and I am afraid that this is one of these times. You may have a harder than usual time stopping him from distributing the pics. Allow me to explain:

1) When you take a photograph of yourself and send it to someone else, you give that person the rights to that photograph. So by sending him photos of yourself, you essentially gave up your right to the photographs. They are his now, and technically, he can do whatever he wants with them (there are limitations, we will get to them in a moment). The only way to limit that automatic give up of your rights is to send the photograph with a disclaimer, possibly. Of course, no one does, and that is a weak tactic at best.

2) You cannot copyright the photos because you already gave him permission. Also, unless he is making money off the photographs, he is not illicitly using your likeness, so this is not an angle that you can exploit either.

3) However, you may still have some recourse. You can perhaps threaten (or sue) him under either harassment or invasion of privacy.

It is not quite harassment, but more like a request for a PEACE ORDER. It is meant to protect you from abuse if you are a victim of abuse. Now, if he is sending out the photographs and encouraging others to contact you, harass you, etc, then perhaps a PEACE ORDER may work. See here. The Court may then enjoin him from distributing the photographs. I say that this is a good tactic to try because it is faster than the other option - an invasion of privacy suit.

To sue in a state court, one needs to have a "cause of action." There are numerous causes of action, such as "breach of contract," "negligence," "fraud," "unjust enrichment," etc., as well as causes of action rooted in statutory law. Every state has their own although they are very similar to each other in every state.

Here, one may argue an invasion of privacy, which includes "intrusion upon seclusion" and/or "public disclosure of private facts." Now, this is very subjective, and you did send him the photographs. However, a sympathetic Judge or Jury may agree to enjoin him from sending the photos and possibly even award you damages. While the suit is pending, temporary orders asking him to stop may be requested from the Court.

This is typically initiated by a "cease and desist" letter from you or your attorney, and if he ignores it, litigation follows. An attorney is recommended so he'd take this more seriously. If you wish to do this yourself (i.e. the letter) and want a sample letter, please let me know via the REPLY button.

Is this a strong case? No. But hopefully the threat of litigation may get him to stop itself without even having the need to file.

Please note: I aim to give you genuine information and not necessarily to tell you only what you wish to hear. Please, rate me on the quality of my information and do not punish me for my honesty. I understand that hearing things less than optimal is not easy, and I empathize.

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