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Is it legal for a neighbor to stare at your children while they play outside

Chatham, NY |

I have a neighbor who stands in his yard and watches my kids play. Sometimes he even says things to them like lookin good buddy, or Boo. It's really starting to bother my kids who are 9 and 6 years old, and they don't want to play outside anymore.

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Filed under: Real estate
Attorney answers 2

Best Answer

While it may appear "creepy" on the surface, perhaps he's socially awkward or just doesn't have anything else to do and the children remind him of an earlier time in his life which he yearns for again.

Instead of considering whether what he's doing is illegal, why not consider treating him like a neighbor and offer him some neighborly advice that his staring is freaking your kids out. Or invite him over sometime so you can secretly "interview" him to see if he's actually creepy or just an old man who is watching kids play. You may discover more about him that will either confirm your fears or eliminate them.

If you conclude he really is doing or planning something nefarious, then you'll have a better idea of what it might be or you may then be able to warn him that you're watching him watch your children.

Good luck.

You may call our office at 516-248-6600 or send an email to us at This answer does not form an attorney/client relationship with anyone and any answers do not constitute direct legal advice and should not be followed unless and until you have spoken with an attorney of your choice.


Creepy, but not illegal as long as he stays in his own yard and does nothing more than make awkward comments.

IMPORTANT LEGAL NOTICE: Ms. Brown’s response to the question above is not legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. All of Ms. Brown’s responses to questions posted on AVVO are intended as general information based upon the facts stated in the question, and are provided for educational purposes of the public, not any specific individual. If you would like to obtain specific legal advice about this issue, please contact an attorney in your state. Ms. Brown is licensed to practice law in New York. If you would like to contact her directly for a legal consultation, you may do so by calling 718-878-6886 during regular business hours, or anytime by email at:

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