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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
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My neighbor recorded me on my property while she was

Customer Question

My neighbor recorded me on my property while she was starting an argument. She then posted it on Facebook without my consent or knowledge. I live in Virginia. Can I legally take her to court?
JA: The Lawyer will need to help you with this. Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: Not about this, but we have a long history of trouble with these people. They have caused huge problems in the past, which led us all to court. She was trespassing on my property when she did this. I have a trespassing order against her.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Lawyer should know?
Customer: That I want to take her to court if possible, and I have a question about an illegal sign they put on my property that very same day.
JA: Our top Lawyer is ready to take your case. Just pay the $5 fully refundable deposit and I'll fill the Lawyer in on everything we've discussed. You can go back and forth with the Lawyer until you're 100% satisfied. We guarantee it.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 8 months ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

Virginia law provides that any party to a conversation may record that conversation, even without the consent or knowledge of other parties. Code of Virginia, Section 19.2-62. Because it was lawful for her to make the recording, it is also unfortunately legal for her to share it with others. There aren't any specific laws that prohibit posting the recording online. It WAS illegal for her to trespass on your property in violation of the order, and you could contact the police to notify them of the violation. Or you could give her the opportunity to remove the recording in order to avoid criminal charges. But there unfortunately isn't a specific cause of action just for posting it.

There is an exception if the contents of the recording disclose private, personal facts that a reasonable person would be highly offended to have disseminated to a widespread audience. Any sign left on your property can be removed, and they can be civilly sued for trespassing, including the costs of restoring your yard to the way it was if she damaged it. Usually, that would be handled in Small Claims Court, where you can ask for up to $5,000.

http://www.courts.state.va.us/resources/small_claims_court_procedures.pdf

If this happens again, you can call police to have her removed from the property without engaging her in conversation.

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