Drones are fascinating toys and tools that are growing in popularity, and you probably don't need to be worried if you notice one buzzing past your property. But models equipped with cameras can become a real problem when they linger longer than they should or start peeping through your windows. If you believe that the attentions of your local drone operator are inappropriate or even bordering on harassment, you may need to take legal action to protect your right to privacy.
Knowing Your Legal Rights
Some homeowners have already gotten themselves into legal trouble after attempting to destroy drones passing through or near their property. Besides the shaky legal footing of destroying your neighbor's property and the potential consequences of downing even a tiny aircraft like a drone, it's usually not wise to start shooting into the air anyways. Instead, you should attempt to take video or photos of the drone intruding on your property, particularly if it is recording inside your home, yard, or swimming pool. Amass as much evidence as you can before proceeding, on the chance that your case does move on to court.
Attempting to Stop the Issue Personally
Disputes between neighbors can often be resolved without needing to arm yourself with attorneys. Your neighbor may not realize that his or her behavior is disturbing you, and it could only take a quick conversation to put an end to the snooping. On the other hand, sometimes drone operators really are attempting to invade your privacy and won't stop at your request. In these uncomfortable situations, you are better off leaving the matter to the legal system.
Recognizing When You Need a Lawyer
The charges you can bring against your offending neighbor will largely depend on the damages committed against you. Talk to a personal injury lawyer about suits ranging from harassment to invasion of privacy to personal injury based on the information your neighbor has collected and what he or she has done with it. If your attorney agrees that the case has merit, you can move forward to put an end to this disturbing drone behavior and recover your family's peace of mind.
Seeking a Restraining Order
In most cases, your best case scenario is to have a restraining order imposed on the drone operator and his or her drones. If footage of you has been sold or otherwise used against you, you may also be awarded damages to compensate you for the emotional distress it has caused. Legal issues related to drone technology are still somewhat new and murky, so your best bet is to discuss the problem with your attorney to determine what can be done to secure your home and privacy once and for all.