Unmanned aircraft systems; civil cause of action created, criminal violations. (SB584)

Introduced By

Sen. Don McEachin (D-Richmond)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Unmanned aircraft systems; invasion of privacy; civil action; criminal violations. Creates a civil cause of action for the physical and constructive invasion of privacy where a person uses an unmanned aircraft system to enter into the airspace above the land of another person to capture an image, as specified in the bill, of private property or an individual located on the private property without consent or uses an unmanned aircraft system to capture such an image in lieu of physically entering the land or airspace. The bill allows a plaintiff to recover the greater of actual damages or $1,000, along with reasonable attorney fees and costs. The bill allows a court to award punitive damages when actual damages are awarded. The bill also creates crimes for using an unmanned aircraft for unauthorized surveillance of property and persons on the property, peeping and spying, and for taking photographs after receiving written notice that the landowner or individual objects. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/13/2016Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/13/16 16103144D
01/13/2016Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/08/2016Committee substitute printed to Web only 16105275D-S1
02/08/2016Failed to report (defeated) in Courts of Justice (7-Y 8-N) (see vote tally)


Rebecca Smith writes:

Vote No

Governmental agencies need to monitor our lands, water, and air space. We are vunerable to terrorists plots and unlawful acts of others. This bill would prevent our agencies from providing the security our country needs.

ACLU-VA Privacy Rights, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

The ACLU of VA is monitoring this bill.