Privacy in 2 story home overlooking a neighbors backyard

Asked almost 5 years ago - Cypress, TX

I have a neighbor accusing members of me and my house hold are that we open our 2nd story home window blind to spy on him and his guest in his backyard. I informed him this is the 10 year old son's room. He said that I should talk and prevent him from opening the blinds as inappropriate activites could occur in his backyard. He indicated that he has all the neighbors knowing "what" we are doing and that he has called the police and they are on notice and watching. My question is 1) does this person have the the right to prevent my household members from opening a window blind even though it overlooks his backyard? 2) Does this person have a legal right to call the police on the occasion we do open the window, and 3) does this person have complete & total privacy in his backyard?

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Robert Smead Hogan


    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . Let me try to answer your last question first. Generally speaking, a person does NOT have complete privacy in their backyard, when things that they are doing may spill over out of their backyard. (Eg., pot smoke, loud drunken parties, etc.). If your neighbor does not want to be seen, he/she should conduct their "inappropriate activities" inside with THEIR blinds shut. You cannot and should not have to avert your eyes from a public spectacle.

    Now, on the other hand, if someone is deliberately spying on them with binoculars, video taping them, etc., the result may be different.

    As to your second question, can your neighbor call the police for this? Yes. Anybody can call the police for anything, at any time. Just calling the police does not mean that a crime has been committed, or that the police will investigate anything. I would ignore his attempts to intimidate you. Hopefully the police have better judgment and better things to waste their time on.

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