Brief Fact Summary.
Galella jumped out in front of John Kennedy’s bike, causing him to swerve. Secret Service agents arrested him for his subsequent actions against the agents. Galella sued Jackie Kennedy for false arrest and malicious prosecution, and Jackie Kennedy counterclaimed for injunctive relief against Galella’s continuous efforts to harass her and her children with paparazzi photographs.
Synopsis of Rule of Law.
There is no scope to the First Amendment right that provides absolute immunity to newspersons from any liability for their conduct while gathering the news.
The protection of a person's general right to privacy--his right to be let alone by other people--is, like the protection of his property and of his very life, left largely to the law of the individual States.View Full Point of Law
Galella sued Jackie Kennedy for false arrest and malicious prosecution after being arrested by Secret Service agents protecting Jackie Kennedy’s young children. Jackie Kennedy counterclaimed for injunctive relief against Galella’s continuous efforts to photograph her and her children.
Notable examples of Galella’s conduct include: (1) hopping out in front of John Kennedy’s bicycle; (2) interrupting Caroline at tennis; (3) invading the children’s privacy at their private schools; (4) coming uncomfortably close to Jackie Kennedy in a power boat while she was swimming; and (5) posturing around Jackie Kennedy at a theater opening and other numerous occasions.
Did Galella’s conduct invade Jackie Kennedy’s reasonable expectation of privacy and freedom from harassment?
Yes, Galella’s conduct invaded Jackie Kennedy’s reasonable expectation of privacy and freedom from harassment.
While legitimate countervailing social needs may warrant some intrusion despite an individual’s reasonable expectation of privacy and freedom from harassment, such an interference may not be greater than necessary to protect the overriding public interest.
Jackie Kennedy was a public figure and therefore subject to news coverage. However, Galella went beyond the reasonable bounds of news gathering with his constant surveillance and obtrusive, intruding presence.
There is no First Amendment right to protect newspersons from any liability for their conduct while gathering news because there is no threat to a free press in requiring its agents to act within the law.
Galella has stated his intent to continue his harassment such that injunctive relief is appropriate. However, to prevent infringement on reasonable efforts to cover Jackie Kennedy, the court order was modified to 25 feet, any touching of Jackie Kennedy’s person, any blocking of her movement in public places, any act foreseeably or reasonably calculated to place the life and safety of Jackie Kennedy in jeopardy, or any conduct which would reasonably be foreseen to harass, alarm, or frighten Jackie Kennedy.