Are Flying Drones Legal? Can They Trespass on My Property? Who Should I Call?

The drone, bought for personal or private use, is now a common consumer item used in the age of technology.

These devices can fly above a person’s home and record their activities. They are becoming more common in daily life, and may even be used commercially. This makes privacy possibly less feasible for citizens. Drones can often be disruptive to private conversations and quiet time because they are noisy and have cameras and many people are concerned about whether or not drones are an invasion of privacy.

Before the laws were changed, property owners had the right to do whatever they wanted on their land. Modern plumbing and electricity have changed this. Unfortunately, legislation in the country has not yet caught up to drone technology. These little hovering devices often include sound equipment or cameras to collect or survey the area. The federal government will not have any authority over these devices until the law is up to date.

Contacting a Neighbor

It is important to stay calm when a drone passes overhead. Emotional outbursts can cause more problems than short-term emotional resolution. Destroying the drone could lead to a claim for property damage, which may make the situation even more complicated. You should contact your neighbor about the drone and have a calm conversation. It is important that you politely ask your neighbor to stop flying the device over the house. They may not even realize their drone was flying so close to your house. Most people who are approached in a calm, kind manner will change their actions quickly.

Private Nuisance Causes of Action and Trespass

If your neighbor fails to respond or act reasonably to your inquiry regarding their drone, it may be possible to file a cause for action in court to remedy the nuisance. It could be argued that the noise from the drone is an annoyance that disturbs your peace and enjoyment at home. In certain cases, you may also be able to file a legal case of trespass. Although the drone is not on the grounds or within the building, it is directly overhead. It is possible to file a cause for action for trespass in many cases because the airspace above the property belongs to the person who is affected. You may also need photographs and other evidence to support your case.

Invasion of Privacy is a Cause of Action

Drones of all kinds can cause frustration and annoyance, but, the ones with cameras may be the most annoying and problematic. The video recorders attached by drones can capture the private lives of anyone who is not aware that they are being recorded or who has not given authorized to do so. At the very least, this is snooping and at worst, it can be considered a crime of gross intrusion of privacy. Even though legislation has not been updated in order to ensure that drones don’t invade someone’s private life, there are precedents which allow for litigation due to a simple invasion of privacy. If your neighbor continues to use drones to invade your property, you may need to hire a lawyer to litigate.

How to Get a Lawyer

The damages you receive when suing a neighbor for an invasion of privacy are typically small and limited. These suits are usually filed to stop drones from flying on the neighbor’s property. Additional charges can be added, such as the destruction of property, if the drone damages any property in the area. You should consult a lawyer about any other possible measures that may be required. He or she will make sure that all necessary paperwork is filed and the correct motions are made. To protect and promote the rights of the person affected, a lawyer may provide the best chance at a successful outcome.

Updated 12/7/2021