Is it legal to aim a survelliance camera into someone else's backyard to prove that are shooting at pets?


A neighbor has shot and killed one cat w/ a gun and shot and injured another w/ a BB gun. Our backyards border an open field where the cats like to hunt. All adjoining neighbors are upset and concerned because this is a former juvenile delinquent with a history and no job, at home all day w/ mom and dad at work and doing this to show off to friends. We would like to set up a surveillance camera pointing pointing to their backyard (they have no fence) so we can have proof for law enforcement that he is the one doing this. Otherwise, they will do nothing, it’s perfectly legal to shoot a gun in a subdivision as long as you don’t shoot towards the road or into someones yard. Is this legal and can I use the evidence in court , if necessary?

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11 Responses to Is it legal to aim a survelliance camera into someone else's backyard to prove that are shooting at pets?

  1. MISS SARAH says:

    YES, the only place you cannot film is inside their house.

  2. Smells like New Screen Names says:

    Are wild roaming cats considered pets in your town?

    They don’t have licenses, don’t respect property lines, and ravage wild life.

    "the cats like to hunt", apparently on other people’s property. In a lot of places your "hunting" pet is considered a nuisance animal.

    Check your local laws.

  3. Gunner says:

    I wouldn’t think so unless you somehow let them know. If you want to let them know without really letting them know, so that it would be all politically correct and whatnot, you could put up a sign saying it is aiming in their backyard and if they don’t like it let them complain to you. The trick is, kind of hide the sign so they won’t really notice it, but if the person decides to sue you for filming them (like if they find out after you turn them in or something), which they could do, then you can say that they could have been fully aware of it if they only paid attention.

    That is just my two cents though and two points for answering this question; you might be better off with someone smarter than I as "I’m a Junior" in high school.

  4. Ou812 The Hated Cracker pt15 says:

    To what end? While I’m absolutely sure those cats are beloved pets, when they enter his yard they become pests no different than possums, moles and raccoons.

    Do you think that the police will arrest him for cruelty to animals or something? I don’t know what they told you but it won’t hold.

    Yes, you can point a camera at a neighbors backyard but in some states you are required to have the focus on yours with the neighbors as an additional observation. The focus should be on yours.

    Sorry about your kitty, I do understand but what your after isn’t going to happen.

  5. Observer412 says:

    Yes, as long as what you are taping is visible to the public – meaning no peeping in windows.

    Check your state’s rules of evidence for specifics on the admissibility of digital photographs. Most states have laws that apply to digital evidence.

    As an example, California Evidence Code Section 1500.6(a) (Admissibility of Printed Representation of Images Stored on Video or Digital Media to Prove Existence and Content of Image) states a printed representation of an image stored on video or digital media shall be admissible to prove the existence and content of the image stored on the video or digital media. Images stored on video or digital media, or copies of images stored on video or digital media, shall not be rendered inadmissible by the best evidence rule. Printed representation of images stored on video or digital media shall be presumed to be accurate representations of the images that they purport to represent.

    Call your local police and ask an officer

    It is legal to photograph or record the ‘pulic areas’ of your residence, basically that is the area that can be seen by casual observer walking or driving by or on another piece of property. Local law or long standing custom may apply to alleyways or easements being accessable to the ‘casual observer.’ Recording ( or even observing) over, under, around, or thru a ‘privacy’ fence is not allowed. An observer on a roof is not casual. Observation from an upstairs window or even a ladder may be casual depending on the purpose of the ladder.
    There are several legitimate reasons to tape your property, including the effect of your property on other property values or taxes, or to record various code violations. Usually recording the comings and goings of you or visitors is not legal. Long term monitoring is not legal. ‘Long term’ is open to interpretation, it depends on the situation and can be as short as a few minutes. Generally if someone just sets up a camera. especially unattended, and turns it on to record till the tape runs out, that is long term monitoring.
    If your neighbor is taping your home and you don’t know why, haven’t asked, or been told, call the cops. An interesting (but possibly physically or legally risky, so ya mite wanta check with a lawyer or local authority first) thing to do if someone is taping you, is to record them recording you.

    Also get help from animal cruelty protection site

  6. J.J.'s Advice / Avis de J.J. says:

    I think it would be wiser for you to first consult with your local police department or a lawyer.

  7. David S says:

    It’s legal to record video of someone’s backyard as long as you don’t have to place the camera on his property to do so. Since you’re right next door and the camera would be on your property, go to it. Nail that abuser.

  8. Ruth S says:

    Get those cameras up ASAP! Perfectly legal as long as they are on YOUR property! Haven’t you called the Animal cruelty department t yet? Cat s are free roaming animals, hard to train to stay in their own backyards, and about the only damage they COULD do in someone Else’s, is dig a little hole and do a No.2 in it, and then cover it up!!! Not so, if they were dogs! You say this guy is a FORMER Juvenile delinquent? Has he ever been arrested, even AS a juvenile? If HE is now over the age of 18, he can be arrested for going around killing cats just for the pleasure of it!
    What’s the matter withe the Police department!? Even in open fields PEOPLE DO walk around there! This guy could be taking pot shots at cats and inadvertently hit a human! Then what!? Are the Police STILL going to ignore this guy’s actions/ You said he killed one cat with a GUN and another with a BB gun. The first one – NOT a rifle? If he IS using a GUN, does he have a license for it? They could investigate that if they wanted to. Pity someone didn’t retrieve the dead cat, and had the bullet removed! They can tell if it’s gun or a rifle bullet! If he shoots any more animals, get the evidence and put this guy behind bars!!! And attach the surveilance camera to a VCR if you can’t be at home 24/7.
    We did that with the drug dealers working right outside my house in Maryland, and turned the tapes over to the police!!

  9. Landlord says:

    Yes, completely legal, just make sure you can’t see the inside of the house from the camera.

  10. No Love ♥ says:

    I would talk to your neighbors and tell them, so they know to keep their cats inside. I’m not sure where you live but in alot of places it is legal to shoot at animal who is on your property. You can try though, try putting something to deter the cats from that area…not sure what does haha but you could google it!

  11. Comrade Snarkovich says:

    If you let your cats run wild you take the risk that they could die a violent death. Hit by a car, savaged by a dog, or shot by a neighbor as the case may be. Cats are realistic – they accept this risk.

    If firing guns is legal where you are then it doesn’t matter if you tape them. "Of course I wouldnt shoot a cat,officer. I thought it was a fox/opossum/raccoon on my property." End of story.

    If you don’t want your cats to get killed, don’t let them go on other people’s property.

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