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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 87775
Experience:  Qualified attorney in private practice including business, family, criminal, and real estate issues.
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My neighbor is photographing me from her yard without my permission-

Resolved Question:

My neighbor is photographing me from her yard without my permission- is that legal?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies as I am typing out my answer. Please understand the following important points: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice; and (2) my function is to give you honest information and not to tell you what you necessarily wish to hear.

This depends - where are you at the time that she is taking photographs from her yard - are you in your home, in your back yard, out in the street, etc?

This not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. I look forward to helping you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
She is taking pictures from her driveway of myself, my contractors during a construction renovation we're doing. She is also taking pictures of their veichles and equiptment (all on my property). She doing doing all this from her own yard and NOT the street or public area.
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for that information, Michael. But I need to know where your contractors and you are when she is taking this photo - inside the home At your back yard? At your driveway? It is important to know where you are as well as where she is.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am in my backyard, some of the contractors are in the home, but are photographed when they come out of the home ( e.g. yard- driveway ). she also take pictures of their cars, and equiptment, as well as my home and yard. She may have also taken pictures one time when my family and I were in my living room in my home.
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Apologies for the wait - I am working on your question, now.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you! You are helpful it's worth the wait, though I do need an answer ASAP.
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
You are too kind.

It does not matter where she is, but it matters where you are.

If you are in a public space, or are in a private place but have no fence, curtains, or otherwise blocked from the public, then you have no expectation of privacy and she can take the photographs (regardless of where she is).

So it all depends on where you are, and where your contractors are. Anything going on outside on the curb has no expectation of privacy, so she can take those photos. This is because this is arguably public space.

However, anything that is happening inside your home may be seen as an intrusion of privacy, especially if it cannot be naturally seen by a person's eye from the outside (and she is using s camera that allows zoom, etc). This would indeed be an invasion of privacy.

Today the intrusion into a person's seclusion is recognized as but one of four separate branches of tortious invasion of privacy. These are set out in Section 652A of the Restatement of Torts 2d, at page 376, as follows:
(1) One who invades the right of privacy of another is subject to liability for the resulting harm to the interests of the other.
(2) The right of privacy is invaded by (a) unreasonable intrusion upon the seclusion of another...

Sustin v. Fee,XXXXX 2d 143 - Ohio: Supreme Court 1982.

So her snapping photos of people going in and out and curb vehicles, etc, is not improper; but snapping photos of you through the window may be. You can technically bring a suit against her. However, very often, the threat of a lawsuit does the job without the need to even file. While you may have asked her to stop yourself, she may not have taken you seriously. An attorney's "cease and desist" letter will go a long way to show that you are serious, and will threaten to file suit if she does not stop. Such a letter coming from an attorney's office carries much gravitas and is often effective. It is about $100 to $200 depending on the attorney. The cease and desist letter is not mandatory before filing suit, but is a good step to take. If it fails, you always have litigation.

IMPORTANT INFO: I hope this finds you well. Please use REPLY TO EXPERT to keep talking, or RATE my answer when we are finished. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces because 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 negatively on me as an expert even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith. Do not worry, you may always ask follow ups free after rating.
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 87775
Experience: Qualified attorney in private practice including business, family, criminal, and real estate issues.
Ely and 11 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you

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