Mathews v. BecerraAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeal affirming the judgment of the trial court dismissing this complaint filed by Plaintiffs, two therapists and one counselor, alleging that the basic norm of confidentiality protected by the psychotherapist-patient privilege applies to admissions by certain patients of downloading or electronically viewing child pornography, holding that Plaintiffs asserted a cognizable privacy interest under the California Constitution and that their complaint survived demurrer.
Specifically, Plaintiffs claimed that the 2014 amendment to Cal. Pen. Code 11165.1(c)(3), which requires Plaintiffs to report to law enforcement and child welfare authorities patients who have admitted to downloading or electronically viewing child pornography, violated their patents' right to privacy under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Cal. Const. art. I, 1. Defendants filed demurrers, arguing that Plaintiffs failed to establish a valid constitutional privacy claim. The trial court dismissed the complaint, and the court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Plaintiffs' allegations satisfied the threshold inquiry for a cognizable privacy claim.