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Nisha Jones, Esq.
Nisha Jones, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 381
Experience:  Managing Attorney at a Law Firm
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I live in Iowa and have had 12 years of a neighbor being

Customer Question

I live in Iowa and have had 12 years of a neighbor being loud and abusive toward my children and myself. 4 years ago the local police department to her to use a video camera to record our home 24/7. Because she told them it was me and my family that was the problem. When all this first started happening she was calling the health dept. and the fire dept. as well. I was able to get them to stop harrassing me by asking their Captain and the health dept supervisor to review the total amount of calls to the amount of founded problems. So, my question is can a neighbor set a recording device in her window pointed at my front door and bay window recording 24/7.
JA: Was the person recording the conversation a participant in the conversation as well?
Customer: Individually the responding officers told us that that is what we should do. I work, raise children, and go to college I have no time for such things. She on the other hand is retired with I guess nothing better to do.
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: No
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Should I speak with the Chief of Police before hand?
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Nisha Jones, Esq. replied 1 month ago.

Good morning, I am a Criminal Defense attorney and former Prosecutor for the State Attorney's Office. I'll be answering your questions today, please understand this is for informational purposes only, and we do not currently have an attorney-client relationship. I'm sorry to hear this has been happening. Please allow me just a few minutes to prepare some information for you, thank you!

Expert:  Nisha Jones, Esq. replied 1 month ago.

Again, sorry to hear this has been happening. As far as the recording goes, unfortunately yes it's legal for your neighbor to record the outside exposure of your house, because it's an area that's visible to the public, and under the law it therefore is entitled to a lower privacy level because of its exposure to public view.

It sounds to me though that you may be the victim of harassment, especially if your neighbor is repeatedly making false reports against you, with no validity. Iowa harassment laws state that someone is guilty of harassment if that person:

"(4) Reports or causes to be reported false information to a law enforcement authority implicating another in some criminal activity, knowing that the information is false, or reports the alleged occurrence of a criminal act, knowing the act did not occur."

You can view the full harassment statute here at: https://coolice.legis.iowa.gov/cool-ice/default.asp?category=billinfo&service=iowacode&ga=83&input=708.7

My recommendation is to either let your neighbor know that you will be forced to take action against them for harassment if they don't stop their pattern of behavior (and hopefully this will deter them from continuing to harass you), or you can go into your local police department and file a report for harassment, listing all of the past incidents with this neighbor knowingly making false reports against you.

In the event that the police do not follow through with filing the report and taking action on your behalf (which hopefully they will), I want you to know you always have the option to go in to your local district attorney's office, request to speak with a criminal prosecutor, and let them know what's been going on. The prosecutor is actually the person in whose hands your case would end up with anyway after a police report is filed, so you can in fact go directly to them.

Also, once your case for harassment is heard, your neighbor should also be ordered to remove those cameras. Yes, it's legal for them to have the cameras up, but if it's shown to be closely linked and part of an overall case of harassment, they should be ordered removed.

I hope that helps! Please let me know if you have any other questions. Also, please take a moment to rate me using the stars as this is the only way experts are compensated for our time here on 'just answer'. It doesn't cost you anything to rate me, and we can still continue our conversation for free after. Thanks!

Expert:  Nisha Jones, Esq. replied 1 month ago.

Hi! Just checking in to see if you have any more questions? I hope I was able to address all of your concerns. Please let me know, I'm here to help. Thanks!

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