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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
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Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Is it illegal in Florida for my neighbor to put a video camera

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Is it illegal in Florida for my neighbor to put a video camera up on the peak of their house solely to look at our outside patio? We have a 6' privacy fence up too. This is pointed down onto our patio and bedroom windows. Our houses are about 25' apart with 70' of privacy fence. She has been harassing us for 5 years, I am a law enforcement officer too. I currently have a $3500 camera system to but it covers only my property. After all the allegations I was advised by my employer to get this for my protection against false allegations. She in turn has a camera system with a camera pointing at our front yard but that is not a problem. Today the new camera was added. Is there a fl. statue that covers this or a privacy law?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 9 months ago.
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am very sorry for your situation. This may be looked at from both a CIVIL and CRIMINAL side. Let us discuss both.

Criminal
Florida statutes do not specifically disallow someone filming someone/something else. While the statutes attempt to be broad, not every nuance can always be captured. The law prohibits taping someone in the bathroom, for example, or in a changing room, and other such places.

The taping has to be lewd, lascivious, or with indecent intent, or generally has to do with sexual nature. FLA.STAT.ANN. § 810.14 et seq. As such, this would be a criminal matter. But because this does not seem to be the case, it is unlikely that the local prosecutor would choose to prosecute. Ergo, your relief may lie in civil action.

Civil
To sue in a state court, one needs to have a "cause of action." There are numerous causes of action, such as "breach of contract," "negligence," "fraud," "unjust enrichment," etc., as well as causes of action rooted in statutory law. Every state has their own although they are very similar to each other in every state.

Here, this may be invasion of privacy. The tort of invasion of privacy is ordinarily considered to encompass four categories, one of which consists of "intrusion upon the plaintiff's physical solitude or seclusion, as by invading his home... ." Guin v. City of Riviera Beach, 388 So. 2d 604 - Fla: Dist. Court of Appeals, 4th Dist. 1980.

As such, you may possibly have a suit here if the camera is pointing directly into your patio and over your privacy fence.

Aside from an injunction, punitive damages may be sought if you can show intentional misconduct and/or malicious intent. Fla. Stat. § 768 et.

An attorney is recommended. May I recommend the FL Bar referral program - here. The attorneys are vetted and qualified. You should be able to find an attorney you are confident with and whom you can trust, and who is available ASAP.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE my answer when we are finished. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces and then submit, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith. (You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.)
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Does Fl.Statue 934.02 number 14 and then 934.03 sub sec 2 (c) hold any weight

Expert:  Ely replied 9 months ago.
Fl.Statue 934.02(14)
“Electronic communications system” means any wire, radio, electromagnetic, photooptical, or photoelectronic facilities for the transmission of wire or electronic communications, and any computer facilities or related electronic equipment for the electronic storage of such communications.

No, this is meant for verbal communication.

934.03 sub sec 2 (c)
I think you meant 12(c)?

Any communication from an electronic or mechanical device which permits the tracking of the movement of a person or an object

It may. However, the chances that the prosecutor will agree to prosecute are nil because the prosecutor would care more if the matter dealt with a lewd or sexual nature. Since they have their dockets full, they have to pick and choose on which crimes to prosecute. So there is no guarantee that they will move forward with this, I am afraid, and likely they will not. Even if they do, it would be months from now. So your best bet at relief still lies in civil court.

Please note: I aim to give you genuine information and not necessarily to tell you only what you wish to hear. Please, rate me on the quality of my information and do not punish me for my honesty. I understand that hearing things less than optimal is not easy, and I empathize.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE and submit your rating when we are finished.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

ok, should I call local police to make a report so there is a complaint on file or is that a moot point?

Expert:  Ely replied 9 months ago.
I would, only if to:

1) Possibly have the prosecutor move on this; and
2) To use the criminal report in the civil matter, should you pursue this in civil court.

So it does not hurt to do so.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE and submit your rating when we are finished.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

ok, any other advise?

Expert:  Ely replied 9 months ago.
Yes. Someone in your situation may wish to take photographs/video of the camera(s) as proof, so that they cannot simply take them down and claim that they have never done this.

This should be done several times throughout the day, noting the date and time, as to illustrate that the camera is present continuously. This will help prove that this actually happened and is happening, if they choose to deny the allegation.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE and submit your rating when we are finished.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Thank You

Expert:  Ely replied 9 months ago.
You are very welcome. Good luck, and please don't forget to rate my answer in one of top three faces and then SUBMIT – it is the only way I get credit for my time with you – or, please REPLY to keep on chatting – I want you to be satisfied.
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 85122
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
Ely and 14 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ely replied 9 months ago.
Thank you for your gratuity.

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