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News & Current Events Discuss Judge Rules In Favor of Man Who Shot Down Drone at the General Forum; I was glad to see this ruling, since it recognizes privacy rights. It's disappointing that the drone owner is going ...

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Old 11-09-2015, 04:36 PM
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Thumbs up Judge Rules In Favor of Man Who Shot Down Drone

I was glad to see this ruling, since it recognizes privacy rights. It's disappointing that the drone owner is going further with it, though, and I hope he loses again. Several witnesses have said they saw the drone flying low, which shows the drone owner was lying about its height.

Quote:
Kentucky Judge Rebecca Ward has cleared all charges against William Merideth who destroyed a drone hovering over his property with a shotgun, saying the drone was a invasion of privacy, local TV station WDRB-TV reports.

“He had a right to shoot at this drone, and I’m gonna dismiss this charge,” said Ward.

Merideth was arrested and charged with wanton endangerment, along with criminal mischief in July for destroying a drone that he suspected was spying on his 16-year-old daughter, who was sun-tanning in the backyard.

William was happy with the Judge’s decision stating, “I was in my right to protect my family and my property.” He expressed the importance of his case against the use of drones to harass people, he went on to say “The next time something like this happens, they’re gonna refer to it,” and encouraged property owners to use common sense when making these decisions. “Now I don’t encourage people to just go out and start blasting stuff for no reason – but three times in one day, three times over the course of a year, six times total, over one property? That’s not right, that’s harassment.”

Drone owner David Boggs testified that flight data recorded provides a different story and that his drone was flying higher than Meredith claimed, however since multiple people witnessed the drone flying below the tree line, Ward decided it was an invasion of privacy.
Judge Rules In Favor of Man Who Shot Down Drone for Spying on Daughter While Sun Tanning
Good!
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Old 11-09-2015, 04:57 PM
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Default Re: Judge Rules In Favor of Man Who Shot Down Drone

A million drones expected to be bought this season? I can picture thousands of drone collisions as people flying their drones in their own yard crash their cheap drones into expensive drones flown from another house. OOPSIE!
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Old 11-09-2015, 06:56 PM
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Post Re: Judge Rules In Favor of Man Who Shot Down Drone

We're basically talking about destroying somebody else's property.
That's not an assumed right.

If somebody parks their car in my driveway, do I have a right to take a pick-axe to the car?


This case is far from over.
Property Laws

While the common law principle held that property owners owned the land from the soil to the Heavens, this principle largely no longer applies. While the property owner may retain rights to minerals and water found under his or her land, he usually only owns a certain amount of space into the sky.

For example, there is a permanent easement for aircraft above the property line. These rights tend to extend well beyond the altitudes that most drones are capable of flying.

Trespass

At common law, trespass occurs when a person knowingly enters the property of another person without his or her permission. It is viewed as infringing upon the property owner’s legal right to enjoy the benefits of his or her ownership of the property. Trespass may occur if a person steps foot on the property. However, it can also occur by an unwanted item being on the property, such as an errant baseball or an un-working vehicle.

While a drone may technically be trespassing onto your land, this does not give you the right to simply shoot it. Instead, the legal remedy is to pursue a trespass claim. Such a claim is viable even if the trespass caused no real damage on your land. However, the award is usually only nominal for such slight invasions.

Privacy Concerns

For many years, the curtilage of a person’s home was highly respected and given extensive privacy rights. However, the United States Supreme Court has held in multiple cases that individuals did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy from being photographed, videorecorded or a product of surveillance from aircraft. It is not illegal for people in airplanes to photograph or record the view below. Additionally, the United States Supreme Court stated that police did not need a warrant in order to surveil someone from an aircraft that was several hundred feet off the ground.

Avoidance of Self-Help

Another reason why shooting down a drone is not likely to be found legally justifiable is because courts tend to disfavor “self-help.” Rather than shooting the drone, courts prefer that homeowners pursue a civil remedy or call law enforcement if they believe the act is criminal or is putting their family at risk.

Self-Defense

Attackers of drones may attempt to justify their action by claiming that “self-defense” warranted the attack on the drone. However, this principle may be applied incorrectly in these assertions. Self-defense typically involves protecting the person. For example, many self-defense laws require that the individual be in eminent danger in order to justify a physical reaction to a threat. This is often not the case with a drone.

There are specific rules that warrant even less involvement if property is being protected. With self-defense issues, it is usually considered whether the response outweighed the potential harm. With drones being equipped with cameras and potentially weapons, this area of the law may continue to expand to account for increased safety threats.

Criminal Behavior

Shooting a drone that may at most be committing a civil tort could actually be criminal behavior. Federal aviation laws prohibit shooting planes that fly over a property owner’s house. Federal aviation laws usually apply to airspace that is over 400 feet. Many individuals believe that drones are covered under such laws that pertain to other types of aircraft.

Similarly, there are often specific laws pertaining to gun ownership and the firing of a weapon. Guns cannot usually be shot in urban areas where it is likely to cause physical injury to another person. In many areas, it is illegal to fire a gun randomly into the air. Criminal mischief and other charges may apply by firing off a weapon at a drone.
http://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=36260
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Old 11-09-2015, 07:30 PM
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Default Re: Judge Rules In Favor of Man Who Shot Down Drone

Quote:
Originally Posted by foundit66 View Post
We're basically talking about destroying somebody else's property.
.
.
.
blah blah blah and other charges may apply by firing off a weapon at a drone.
(link left out)

After all that, there is no guarantee that my cheap drone flying on my property will not collide with any fancy, expensive drone, police or privately owned, stupid enough to be flying on my property, and destroy it.
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Old 11-09-2015, 08:14 PM
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Default Re: Judge Rules In Favor of Man Who Shot Down Drone

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manitou View Post
After all that, there is no guarantee that my cheap drone flying on my property will not collide with any fancy, expensive drone, police or privately owned, stupid enough to be flying on my property, and destroy it.
Interesting solution...

Or how about this guy...
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Old 11-09-2015, 09:48 PM
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Default Re: Judge Rules In Favor of Man Who Shot Down Drone

Quote:
Originally Posted by foundit66 View Post
We're basically talking about destroying somebody else's property.
That's not an assumed right.

If somebody parks their car in my driveway, do I have a right to take a pick-axe to the car?


This case is far from over.
Property Laws

While the common law principle held that property owners owned the land from the soil to the Heavens, this principle largely no longer applies. While the property owner may retain rights to minerals and water found under his or her land, he usually only owns a certain amount of space into the sky.

For example, there is a permanent easement for aircraft above the property line. These rights tend to extend well beyond the altitudes that most drones are capable of flying.

Trespass

At common law, trespass occurs when a person knowingly enters the property of another person without his or her permission. It is viewed as infringing upon the property owner’s legal right to enjoy the benefits of his or her ownership of the property. Trespass may occur if a person steps foot on the property. However, it can also occur by an unwanted item being on the property, such as an errant baseball or an un-working vehicle.

While a drone may technically be trespassing onto your land, this does not give you the right to simply shoot it. Instead, the legal remedy is to pursue a trespass claim. Such a claim is viable even if the trespass caused no real damage on your land. However, the award is usually only nominal for such slight invasions.

Privacy Concerns

For many years, the curtilage of a person’s home was highly respected and given extensive privacy rights. However, the United States Supreme Court has held in multiple cases that individuals did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy from being photographed, videorecorded or a product of surveillance from aircraft. It is not illegal for people in airplanes to photograph or record the view below. Additionally, the United States Supreme Court stated that police did not need a warrant in order to surveil someone from an aircraft that was several hundred feet off the ground.

Avoidance of Self-Help

Another reason why shooting down a drone is not likely to be found legally justifiable is because courts tend to disfavor “self-help.” Rather than shooting the drone, courts prefer that homeowners pursue a civil remedy or call law enforcement if they believe the act is criminal or is putting their family at risk.

Self-Defense

Attackers of drones may attempt to justify their action by claiming that “self-defense” warranted the attack on the drone. However, this principle may be applied incorrectly in these assertions. Self-defense typically involves protecting the person. For example, many self-defense laws require that the individual be in eminent danger in order to justify a physical reaction to a threat. This is often not the case with a drone.

There are specific rules that warrant even less involvement if property is being protected. With self-defense issues, it is usually considered whether the response outweighed the potential harm. With drones being equipped with cameras and potentially weapons, this area of the law may continue to expand to account for increased safety threats.

Criminal Behavior

Shooting a drone that may at most be committing a civil tort could actually be criminal behavior. Federal aviation laws prohibit shooting planes that fly over a property owner’s house. Federal aviation laws usually apply to airspace that is over 400 feet. Many individuals believe that drones are covered under such laws that pertain to other types of aircraft.

Similarly, there are often specific laws pertaining to gun ownership and the firing of a weapon. Guns cannot usually be shot in urban areas where it is likely to cause physical injury to another person. In many areas, it is illegal to fire a gun randomly into the air. Criminal mischief and other charges may apply by firing off a weapon at a drone.
http://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=36260
And despite all that expert legal reasoning.,,, William Meredith was absolved by a JUDGE of all charges.

Perhaps you should send your thoughts to the Honorable Rebecca Ward and explain her failings here.

She may express to you the ancient law of air rights Cuis est solium, eeius est usque ad coelom et ad infernos. One owns the land from heaven to hell.

But in the USA the FAA has determined one's limit above ground.
The low cost of unmanned aerial vehicles in the 2000s revived legal questions of what activities were permissible at low altitude.[6] The FAA reestablished that public, or navigable, airspace is the space above 500 feet

BTW That's well above effective shotgun range
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Old 11-10-2015, 07:43 PM
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Default Re: Judge Rules In Favor of Man Who Shot Down Drone

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrancSevin View Post
And despite all that expert legal reasoning.,,, William Meredith was absolved by a JUDGE of all charges.

And there are other cases that went the other way.
This is only the first round. And the comments quoted by the judge provide NO legal reasoning...


Quote:
Originally Posted by FrancSevin View Post
But in the USA the FAA has determined one's limit above ground.
The low cost of unmanned aerial vehicles in the 2000s revived legal questions of what activities were permissible at low altitude.[6] The FAA reestablished that public, or navigable, airspace is the space above 500 feet
BTW That's well above effective shotgun range
You're missing the point.
Let me boil this down for you.
Just because something exists on your property does not give you the right to shoot it in most places.

The drone owner being in the wrong does not automatically mean that the home owner is justified in shooting somebody else's property.
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Old 11-10-2015, 09:13 PM
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Default Re: Judge Rules In Favor of Man Who Shot Down Drone

Quote:
Originally Posted by foundit66 View Post

And there are other cases that went the other way.
This is only the first round. And the comments quoted by the judge provide NO legal reasoning...



You're missing the point.
Let me boil this down for you.
Just because something exists on your property does not give you the right to shoot it in most places.

The drone owner being in the wrong does not automatically mean that the home owner is justified in shooting somebody else's property.
Glad to know from our resident expert on anything legal. But the real expert, the real judge, ruled otherwise. As a person with approximately the same legal training as you, I agree with the judge. You have the right to protect your property, and others have no right to the use of your property without your permission, be it your driveway, airspace, or hunting camp.
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Old 11-11-2015, 09:00 AM
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Default Re: Judge Rules In Favor of Man Who Shot Down Drone

the Judge is Right.

Private Property? it's not like an unwanted car in your driveway.
--which you can have towed or Push it down the street BTW--
It like someone sticking a camera through your window.
there's an expected level of privacy you have on your property.
the invention of drones doesn't negate that expectation.

I'm glad the judge ruled this way I'd like to hope that if more Juries saw these cases the drone Crap would be shut down and people would get the message. this crap aint cool or legal. and will cost you your drone and Juries asking for damages.
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Old 11-11-2015, 09:58 AM
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Post Re: Judge Rules In Favor of Man Who Shot Down Drone

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbo View Post
Glad to know from our resident expert on anything legal. But the real expert, the real judge, ruled otherwise.
And there have been other judges who have ruled differently.
And of course, there is the appeals process.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbo View Post
As a person with approximately the same legal training as you, I agree with the judge. You have the right to protect your property, and others have no right to the use of your property without your permission, be it your driveway, airspace, or hunting camp.
But there was no "protection" of property here.
No threat.

Yes. Permission was lacking. The drone operator was undoubtedly in the wrong there. On that there is no argument.
That doesn't mean the shooter is automatically justified in firing a weapon and harming other people's property.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. wonder
Private Property? it's not like an unwanted car in your driveway.
--which you can have towed or Push it down the street BTW--
It like someone sticking a camera through your window.
there's an expected level of privacy you have on your property.
the invention of drones doesn't negate that expectation.
Of course it's not like an unwanted car in your driveway. Of course there is a privacy issue here.

While I disagree that it's like a camera being shoved through a window, if somebody were to stick a camera through your window do you have a right to break that camera?



Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. wonder
I'm glad the judge ruled this way I'd like to hope that if more Juries saw these cases the drone Crap would be shut down and people would get the message. this crap aint cool or legal. and will cost you your drone and Juries asking for damages.
People would also get the message with lawsuits and appropriate police action.

The drone operator WAS in the wrong.
But the response action of the property owner was also wrong.
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