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Backyard Surveillance Bill Will Allow N.Y. Neighbors to Sue Over Outdoor Cameras

A new law signed by Governor Cuomo will allow people to sue their neighbors over surveillance cameras they feel are obtrusive.

NEW YORK CITY — A new law has just been signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo that allows citizens to take their neighbors to court if they feel annoyed, alarmed, harassed or threatened by the neighbor’s outdoor surveillance camera pointed at their backyard.

“We want to make sure you can go to the court and get relief,” said state Assemblyman Edward Braunstein (D-Queens). “It’s not a criminal matter, it’s a civil matter, and you ask for an injunction for a court to tell them that they have to remove the camera.”

Braunstein sponsored the Backyard Surveillance Bill after hearing numerous complaints about invasions of privacy by snooping neighbors.

“I wouldn’t like that having them looking straight at my kids in my backyard,” Taso Vassiliou of Flushing, Queens told CBS New York.

Fran Bosi of Flushing, Queens echoed his statements, saying, “I’m entitled to my privacy! I don’t want people taping what I’m doing!

Braunstein said it is important to establish a baseline by asking your neighbor to remove the surveillance camera. However, if the neighbor refuses, litigation may begin.

“I like that new law. There’s a lot of sick people around,” Vassiliou said. “Makes me feel that I can actually do something to help out the family.”

Taking effect Sept. 15., homeowners and renters will both have standing to sue under the new law.

Do you think this type of law could become more prevalent around the country as smart home security popularity increases and the use of surveillance cameras becomes more frequent?

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7 Responses to “Backyard Surveillance Bill Will Allow N.Y. Neighbors to Sue Over Outdoor Cameras”

  1. jim says:

    Who determines what is “obtrusive”

  2. Todd Nelson says:

    The only ones who are going to enjoy this stupid new law are the lawyers. The obvious intent of the cameras are to observe the owner’s property. Seeing the neighbors property is a function of how close the neighbors are. In most crowded areas, it is impossible to protect your own property with cameras, and not have some view of your neighbors. If this law passes, then those with cameras who are ordered to remove them do to their neighbors complaints, and get robbed or murdered because there were no cameras, are going to be suing both their neighbors and the government. Like I said, this law is an employment law for lawyers, but won’t help those whose property is left unguarded because they have a nasty neighbor.

  3. Riley Pierce says:

    What BS – I’m sure CA will follow suit soon.

  4. Nunya bidness says:

    What’s it like having to go through life constantly looking over your shoulder worried everyone is trying to rob or rape you? This law is great! My douche neighbor just put up a camera picking up 3/4 view of my backyard including the pool. Do I want this guy looking at me and my kids while we hang out on the pool deck and swim? He’ll no! Keep your cameras facing your own property. Paranoid freaks and pervs! Enjoy your lawsuit 😉

    • Superfly131 says:

      I agree. I am going through the same thing now with the neighbor in back of me. His camera faces straight into my living room and, in the past, I know he has used it at night to attempt to look in (because he’s a freak). Who does that??? Now, he will get his, via the law….

  5. Christine Mahrer says:

    My neighbor has his camera pointed directly into my living room and responded in anger when I politely asked him to move it to a different location. Cameras should be pointed towards the window and door entries since that is the only place you need to worry about. It’s my opinion that if you do decide to point cameras onto your property to keep the view of the camera on your property only. If a particular view shows some of your neighbors property than it’s respectful to use another viewing angle.
    I like this new law and eventually it will be in all the states. There is just too much invasion of privacy issues going on nowadays. We shouldnt have to keep our blinds closed 24/7 because neighbors don’t have the decency to respect the privacy of others.

  6. Kelly says:

    I’m having this issue with my neighbor, who said they also record audio, which violates the one party consent law. He also stands on a table to see better over the 6 foot fence.

    I’m in the next town from this Shirley couple who sued and began this whole law. If anyone has any ideas for me on how to go about this, I’d be grateful.
    I’m not eligible to afford legal counsel atm.

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