The opinion of the court was delivered by: Smith, Justice
DATE OF JUDGMENT: 06/25/96
TRIAL JUDGE: HON. HENRY LAFAYETTE LACKEY
COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: TIPPAH COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT
NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - TORTS - OTHER THAN PERSONAL INJURY AND PROPERTY DAMAGE
MOTION FOR REHEARING FILED:
¶1. This is an appeal from a judgment of the Circuit Court of Tippah County, Mississippi, dismissing with prejudice, Rita Plaxico's invasion of privacy claim which is based upon the sub-tort of intentional intrusion upon seclusion or solitude.
¶2. Glenn Michael learned of a homosexual relationship between his former wife and Plaxico. He subsequently filed for modification of child custody in November of 1993, against his former wife, to have their minor daughter placed in his custody. He alleged in this modification of child custody case, Michael v. Michael, that his former wife was engaged in a lesbian relationship with her roommate, Plaxico. During discovery of the child custody case, semi-nude pictures that had been obtained by Michael were produced by his attorney. These pictures show Plaxico in her bed nude from the waist up. Michael was subsequently awarded custody of his minor daughter.
¶3. Plaxico filed suit in the Circuit Court of Tippah County against Michael for invasion of her privacy, specifically alleging in her pleadings, the sub-tort of "intentional intrusion upon the solitude or seclusion of another." The parties, by mutual agreement, agreed to a trial without a jury.
¶4. Circuit Judge Henry L. Lackey heard the case on May 14, 1996. Michael stated that he watched his former wife and Plaxico engage in sexual conduct. It was at this time that Michael went to his truck to get a camera. He returned to the window and took pictures in order to obtain proof of their lesbian relationship.
¶5. The trial court, after hearing all of the evidence, ruled on June 25, 1996, that Michael had a qualified privilege when he obtained the evidence of the relationship between Plaxico and his former wife in order to protect his child. The trial court then dismissed the complaint with prejudice and ordered that Plaxico pay the costs of the proceeding, and that both parties were responsible for their own attorney's fees. From that judgment, Plaxico brings this matter before this Court on appeal raising the following issues:
"I. WHETHER MICHAEL COMMITTED AN INTENTIONAL INTRUSION UPON SOLITUDE OR SECLUSION OF PLAXICO? "II. WHETHER PLAXICO IS ENTITLED TO DAMAGES AS A RESULT OF MICHAEL'S ALLEGED INVASION OF PLAXICO'S PRIVACY? "III. WHETHER THE CIRCUIT COURT OF TIPPAH COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI CORRECTLY DISMISSED PLAXICO'S COMPLAINT ...