Drone vs. Shotgun: Kentucky Lawsuit Will Determine Who is Right

You may recall that a federal lawsuit has been filed in Kentucky seeking to adjudicate rights of drone operators versus neighboring landowners.

Today, we will take a closer look at details from that suit.

Background

In July 2015, Mr. Boggs was flying his drone for recreational purposes near his home in Kentucky.  His drone contained an onboard camera that could capture video and photographs.  After about two minutes of flight, Mr. Merideth shot down the drone with a shotgun.

Mr. Boggs claims that his drone was flying approximately 200′ above ground and offers photos and video captured by the camera as evidence of this.  He also argues that the photos and video captured show no recording of any persons on Mr. Merideth’s property.  Instead, Mr. Boggs argues, the images captures are of the horizon, woods, and rooftops of various houses.  The Complaint contains the last photo taken before the drone was shot down.

Mr. Merideth, on the otherhand, claims that the drone was flying much lower and was capturing images of his daughter while hovering above his property.

Criminal Lawsuit

After the incident, Mr. Merideth was charged with wanton endangerment and criminal mischief, felonies under Kentucky law.  In October, a district judge dismissed the criminal charges, finding that Mr. Merideth had the right to shoot down the drone in this case we need a nashville criminal defense attorney. In a case like this it is very important to get support by a professional like the chicago criminal lawyer. You can also search for outstanding CT warrants and probation violations from Connecticut. You can also contact with Joe Lubin for better solution. He is one of the best person in this field.Hiring Florida Ticket Firm puts the knowledge of Florida traffic law on your side and increases the probability of the best possible outcome in your traffic ticket case,navigate here. If you find yourself in a position where you need a criminal defense attorney sugar land, a DWI Attorney, Fort Bend Drug Possession Lawyer, or have been charged with another crime, you need to think fast. Your future is in your hands, so you should ensure you choose the best criminal defense lawyer in Sugar Land to fight your case. For best criminal lawyer to fight your case, You can refer from www.floridalawonline.com/ website. If someone entrusted you with a job, which led to a loss of funds, whether it was your fault or not, you may be charged with a white collar crime, and we can fight to prove your innocence. It is important that you hire a Long Island white collar crime defense attorney who can explain your side of the story in a way that will prove you had the best intentions and acted within the law. You can try this web-site to know more about the Long island white collar crime law attorney. If you’re arrested and charged with illegal drug use, possession, sale, or the manufacture then Long Beach Drug Crimes Attorney helps you for the best attorney in drug crime.

 

 

Federal Civil Lawsuit

The instant case was filed by Mr. Boggs against Mr. Merideth  in federal court for the Western District of Kentucky in January 2016.  Mr. Boggs makes several legal arguments. You will get the all details about traffic ticket defence attorney straight from the source.  Because this is one of the first drone lawsuits we have seen, I think looking at each of these claims is useful. [Read full Complaint here.]  When you’re convicted of a crime in California, you may be sentenced to probation for a specified length of time, For more details about violation navigate to this website. An experienced professional defense lawyer is the one which you can trust if you are facing any suspension or revocation of your licenses, we will defend you from any allegations of any abuse or fraud malpractice. Want to schedule an appointment just visit njdwiesq.com/

  • Mr. Boggs argues that the US Government has sole sovereignty over US airspace and that such airspace is not subject private ownership. Based on this theory, Mr. Boggs argues that if Mr. Merideth did not own the airspace above his property, Mr. Boggs’ drone was not trespassing.
  • Mr. Boggs argues that even if the drone had viewed Mr. Merideth’s property from the air, this did not violate Mr. Merideth’s reasonable expectation of privacy.  He relies upon the US Supreme Court decisions related to the 4th Amendment search and seizure provision that say a person does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the area surrounding his or her home when viewed from above in plain sight.
  • Next, Mr. Boggs argues that federal law provides that anyone who “sets fire to, damages, destroys, disables, or wrecks any aircraft in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the US or any aircraft used, operated, or employed in interstate, overseas, or foreign air commerce” is guilty of a felony.  Although the law does not allow for a civil suit under this statute, Mr. Boggs argues that the intent of the statute makes clear that it applies to drones and would undercut the Kentucky court’s ruling that Mr. Merideth had the right to shoot down the drone.
  • Mr. Boggs also argues that there is no Kentucky law that allows for any “self help remedy” in response to trespass.  Instead, a trespasser may be subject to civil or criminal prosecution.
  • Finally, Mr. Boggs argues that by damaging his drone that was lawfully flying, Mr. Meredith committed trespass to chattels (meaning he impaired the property by reducing value, condition, and quality of the drone) and, therefore, Mr. Boggs is entitled to damages.

Based on these arguments, Mr. Boggs seeks a declaratory judgment finding the following:

  • A drone is an “aircraft” under federal law.
  • A drone operating as it did in this situation is operating in “navigable airspace” and is solely under the jurisdiction fo the US.
  • The Plaintiff’s aircraft  in this situation was not in the Defendant’s property.
  • The operation of the aircraft in this situation did not violate Mr. Merideth’s reasonable expectation of privacy.
  • A property owner cannot shoot a drone operating in navigable airspace when the aircraft is operating in the manner it was in this case.

He also seeks damages for his drone under his trespass to chattels theory in the amount of $1,500.

Take Away Points

The key message with regard to drones and private property rights is that the law is not settled on many of these questions.  I frequently tell people at presentations that one day, there will be a lawsuit that answers these questions, and you do not want your last name to be included in that lawsuit!

There are certainly potential legal claims that could be brought against a drone owner if it is flying over private property, and there are also legal claims that could be brought against a person who attempts to shoot down a drone. This lawsuit shows an example of the typical issues that arise in these situations.




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