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Crime of Stalking Does Not Create Tort of Stalking
Description Georgia appeals court held that the fact that stalking is a crime does not create stalking as a tort. Given the facts of the case, there were torts of invasion of privacy and infliction of emotional distress, but public policy reflected in statutes does not translate into private action.
Topic Torts
Key Words Stalking, Creation of Tort
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Jones sued Troncalli for stalking and other torts. The jury found in Jones' favor and awarded her $290,000 in compensatory and punitive damages. Troncalli appealed, contending that stalking is not a tort. Jones contended there had been several instances of unwanted advances, threats, and intrusions, which had been reported to the police. The issue before the appeals court is: Did the fact that stalking is a criminal offense mean that it is also the basis for tort?
Decision The enactment of a law making stalking a crime did not automatically create a tort of stalking. Hence, the trial court should have granted Troncalli's motion for directed verdict on that issue. However, given the evidence, there was clearly a tort of intrusion into Jones' privacy and the tort of infliction of mental distress. For those intentional torts, damages could be warranted.
Citation Troncalli v. Jones, - S.E.2d - (1999 WL 134688, Ct. App., Ga.)
514 S.E.2d 478 (Ct. App., Ga., 1999)

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