Is it Flying Drones Legal?

In the age of technology, the flying drone has become just another consumer electronic that may be purchased for personal and private use.

These devices have the ability to fly over a person’s residence and record activity. With the adoption of these machines in everyday life with the possibility they may be used commercially, privacy is becoming less possible for individuals in the country. Because they are loud with cameras on many of them, these tools often intrude on quiet time and private conversations. The concern of these persons is whether this is an invasion of privacy and if there are laws that prohibit the activity of using a drone over someone else’s property.

Before laws changed, the owner of a property had the right to do anything he or she liked on the land. However, the modern era has changed all this with plumbing and electricity. Unfortunately, the legislation implemented throughout the country has not as of yet caught up with the technology of the drone. These small hovering and flying devices often have cameras or sound equipment to pick up or survey and area. Because there are still laws needed to ensure these machines are used legally, the federal government has no authority over these tools until the legal arena catches up.

Contacting a Neighbor

When a drone passes overhead, it is important to remain calm and not overreact. Reacting with emotional outbursts may cause more problems than the short-term emotional resolution. Destroying the drone may lead to a property damage claim, and the situation may become even more complicated. It is important to contact the neighbor with the device and calmly converse with him or her about the issue. It is important to politely ask the person next door to refrain from flying it over the house. He or she may not even be aware it was so close to or over the property. Most who are contacted in this manner stop these actions quickly.

Private Nuisance Cause of Action and Trespass

When the neighbor does not reasonably react or respond to any inquiry about stopping the device, it is possible to have a cause of action filed in court for private nuisance. The noise of the machine could be argued to be a disturbance that disrupts quiet and enjoyment at home. Additionally, it is possible to file for legal cases of trespass given certain situations. While the drone may not be on the land or in the building, it is in the airspace directly overhead. Because of this, it is possible in many circumstances to file for a cause of action for trespass because the area above the property does belong to the person affected by this situation. Photographs and other evidence may be used to assist in the case.

Invasion of Privacy Cause of Action

Of all the types of drones that may cause irritation and annoyance, it is those with cameras that may cause the most grief and trouble with privacy invasion. These video recorders attached to a drone are capable of capturing the private life of someone that either does not know he or she is being recorded, or no permission has been granted to the individual taping the person’s life. At the very least, this is considered snooping. At the worst, this would be deemed a crime of gross invasion of privacy. Even if legislation has not been updated to ensure drones do not invade the private life of a citizen of the country, there are precedents that provide for litigation due to a basic invasion of privacy. If the neighbor persists in using these machines to record or invade a person’s property, it may be necessary to hire a lawyer and litigate.

Damages and Hiring a Lawyer

When suing the neighbor for an invasion of privacy incident, the damages received are usually limited and small. The primary purpose in these suits is usually to ensure the drones are no longer flying on the property. Additional charges may be added such as destruction of property if the machine destroyed anything while flying in the vicinity. Because other measures may be necessary that require the legal world’s assistance, a lawyer should be consulted about these problems. A legal professional may be hired to work for and protect the rights of the affected person. He or she may ensure all the right motions are filed along with accompanying paperwork. If a lawsuit is necessary, this lawyer may provide the best chance at a successful outcome.