The right to privacy is a fundamental human right, but it doesn’t come without limitations.
In the United States, your neighbor can legally record you on your property if their recording device is no less than 25 feet away from your property line. This means that if you’re standing outside of your own house or yard, for example, you could be recorded by your neighbor.
Does that make you uncomfortable? Then keep on reading to find out how you can fix this issue.
Which Areas of My Property Can My Neighbor Record?
There are some areas of your property that your neighbor can legally record and others the law strictly prohibits. Let’s talk about the three most important ones.
1. Can My Neighbor Record the Entrance of My Property?
Your neighbor can record the entrance of your property, but they have to stay 25 feet away. So if you see someone recording closer than 25 feet away from your home’s entryway, it’s time to take action. Call the cops and tell them who is harassing you by recording your property without your permission.
The police typically take quick action against these types of complaints.
2. Can My Neighbor Record My Backyard?
Yes, your neighbor has the legal right to record your backyard as long as their camera is 25 feet away from your property. Any closer and you have the right to sue them in court.
3. Can My Neighbor Record the Indoor Area of My Property?
No, your neighbor cannot record the inside of your property.
The indoor area is off-limits. You have the right to keep what happens inside your property private. So no matter where the recording device is placed, your neighbor cannot record the indoor area of your home.
The only exception to this is if you allow someone to do so. For instance, if you decide to film a video in your home, that’s legal because both parties are consenting.
Which Methods of Recording are Legal?
Only a few recording methods are legal. All the rest can lead to hefty fines and imprisonment.
Can My Neighbor Point Cameras Towards My Property?
Can you imagine what would happen if everyone aimed their cameras directly at someone else’s property? The whole world would turn into one giant surveillance state!
That’s why the law clearly prohibits pointing recording devices to someone else’s property for surveillance purposes.
So if your neighbor aims a recording device towards your property, they’re in violation of the law and you have the right to sue them. The charges for illegal surveillance are pretty serious.
Can My Neighbor Audio Record My Property?
Yes, your neighbor can audio record your property. However, they cannot do it with intention of illegal spying.
What does that mean? It means that while neighbors can audio record each other in certain cases like when they’re having an argument, it’s illegal for an individual to audio record someone without their consent in the privacy of their property. Doing so is considered illegal spying and the charges typically include prison time along with a huge fine.
Can My Neighbor Use Drones to Capture Indoor Footage of My Property?
No matter what device your neighbors use to capture indoor footage of your property, they will be in clear violation of the law.
How Can You Stop Your Neighbor from Recording Your Property?
Is your neighbor recording your property without your permission? Then the first thing you need to do is find out whether they are legally allowed to do so. If they are, then there’s nothing you can do but talk to them and hope that they grant your request. On the other hand, if their recording method is illegal, then here’s what you should do.
1. Talk With Them
Once again, the first step you should take is to try talking with your neighbor. Tell them that it makes you uncomfortable and that you would appreciate it if they stopped recording you.
However, if they refuse to listen or respond aggressively towards you during the conversation, then you have only one option left: Take legal action against them for harassment and illegal surveillance in court.
The law clearly states, “a case can be made against whoever unlawfully installs or uses a device for observing, photographing, recording or eavesdropping upon activities in a private place without the permission of the person who has lawful control over that space”.
2. How Can You File a Lawsuit Against Your Neighbor for Illegal Surveillance?
To file a lawsuit against your neighbor, take these five steps.
- Go down to your local court and purchase a ticket for the court case.
- Hire an attorney.
- File for a restraining order against your neighbor to prohibit them from coming within 100 yards of you or your family’s property.
- Wait for the judge’s decision on whether or not there is enough evidence for your neighbor to be arrested and charged with illegal surveillance.
- Fight against any plea deals that they offer you by insisting on going all the way to trial, where the jury will decide on what penalties are given out or if they are acquitted completely.
Here’s the bottom line. Although it may make you feel uncomfortable, your neighbors have a legal right to use security cameras for surveillance. On that note, you also have a right to record your neighbors. But remember that the recording device must be no less than 25 feet away from their property. Also, you cannot record the indoor area of someone’s property.
That being said, if you have any reason to believe that your neighbor is recording your property not for security reasons but for spying purposes, you can call the cops to investigate.