Is it Legal for My neighbor to Eavesdrop On My Conversation in Public?


Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.

My home is set on what is sometimes referred to as a zero lot line. My back porch is attached to the stockade fence that separates my property from my neighbor. It is an 8 foot fence. When I have friends over or when I am talking on my phone while enjoying my porch, my neighbor stands on his side of the fence and eavesdrops on our conversations. I have asked him to stop but he doesn’t. He seems very weird. Is it legal since he is on his own property? I am guessing it is but it sure is annoying and I would like to make him stop.

Assuming that the fence is actually on the property line (this is often not the case), it’s true that your neighbor is not trespassing on your land. However, trespassing is not the only illegal thing that could be going on.

Whether your neighbor’s eavesdropping is actually illegal will depend on the balance struck by the laws in your area. You might want to consult with an attorney, or at least a friendly police officer, to get a better idea of whether any other laws are being broken here.