Is it illegal to install surveillance cameras aimed at neighbor's bedroom window?
A neighbor has a right to survey his property as long as he does not violate your rights to privacy. If the camera views the outside of your home and garden, it is generally not an invasion of privacy, but if the camera is surveilling the inside of the home, rights to privacy are violated.
The CCRs may regulate the installation of devices that are visible from the street or from a neighbor's property. The CCRs often regulate the installation of satellite dishes and HAM radio antennas, for example. The same CCRs may require a homeowner to obtain HOA permission to install security cameras unless the cameras are unobtrusive. The CCRs should be carefully analyzed to determine if the neighbor complied with CCRs and architectural guidelines before installing the security cameras.
The following is a CA statute:
§ 1708.8 Civ.
(a) A person is liable for physical invasion of privacy when the
defendant knowingly enters onto the land of another person without
permission or otherwise committed a trespass in order to physically invade
the privacy of the plaintiff with the intent to capture any type
of visual image, sound recording, or other physical impression of the
plaintiff engaging in a personal or familial activity and the physical
invasion occurs in a manner that is offensive to a reasonable person.
(b) A person is liable for constructive invasion of privacy when the
defendant attempts to capture, in a manner that is offensive to a
reasonable person, any type of visual image, sound recording, or other
physical impression of the plaintiff engaging in a personal or familial
activity under circumstances in which the plaintiff had a reasonable
expectation of privacy, through the use of a visual or auditory enhancing
device, regardless of whether there is a physical trespass, if this
image, sound recording, or other physical impression could not have been
achieved without a trespass unless the visual or auditory enhancing
device was used.
(c) An assault committed with the intent to capture any type of visual
image, sound recording, or other physical impression of the plaintiff is
subject to subdivisions (d), (e), and (h).
(d) A person who commits any act described in subdivision (a), (b), or
(c) is liable for up to three times the amount of any general and special
damages that are proximately caused by the violation of this
section. This person may also be liable for punitive damages, subject to proof
according to Section 3294. If the plaintiff proves that the invasion
of privacy was committed for a commercial purpose, the defendant shall also
be subject to disgorgement to the plaintiff of any proceeds or other
consideration obtained as a result of the violation of this section.
(e) A person who directs, solicits, actually induces, or actually
causes another person, regardless of whether there is an
employer-employee relationship, to violate any provision
of subdivision (a), (b), or (c) is liable for any general, special, and consequential
damages resulting from each said violation. In addition, the person that
directs, solicits, instigates, induces, or otherwise causes another
person, regardless of whether there is an employer-employee relationship,
to violate this Section shall be liable for punitive damages to the
extent that an employer would be subject to punitive damages pursuant to
subdivision (b) of Section 3294.
(f) Sale, transmission, publication, broadcast, or use of any image
or recording of the type, or under the circumstances, described in this
Section shall not itself constitute a violation of this section, nor
shall this Section be construed to limit all other rights or remedies
of plaintiff in law or equity, including, but not limited to, the publication
of private facts.
(g) This Section shall not be construed to impair or limit any
otherwise lawful activities of law enforcement personnel or employees
of governmental agencies or other entities, either public or private who, in
the course and scope of their employment, and supported by an articulable
suspicion, attempt to capture any type of visual image, sound recording,
or other physical impression of a person during an investigation,
surveillance, or monitoring of any conduct to obtain evidence
of suspected illegal activity, the suspected violation of any administrative
rule or regulation, a suspected fraudulent insurance claim, or any other
suspected fraudulent conduct or activity involving a violation of law
or pattern of business practices adversely affecting the public health
(h) In any action pursuant to this section, the court may grant
equitable relief, including, but not limited to, an injunction and
restraining order against further violations of subdivision (a) or (b).
(i) The rights and remedies provided in this Section are cumulative and
in addition to any other rights and remedies provided by law.
(j) It is not a defense to a violation of this Section that no image,
recording, or physical impression was captured or sold.
(k) For the purposes of this section, "for a commercial purpose" means
any act done with the expectation of a sale, financial gain, or other
consideration. A visual image, sound recording, or other physical
impression shall not be found to have been, or intended to have been
captured for a commercial purpose unless it is intended to be, or was in
fact, sold, published, or transmitted
(l) For the purposes of this section, "personal and familial activity"
includes, but is not limited to, intimate details of the plaintiff's
personal life, interactions with the plaintiff's family or significant
others, or other aspects of plaintiff's private affairs or concerns.
Personal and familial activity does not include illegal or otherwise
criminal activity as delineated in subdivision (f). However, "personal
and familial activity" shall include the activities of victims of crime
in circumstances where either subdivision (a) or (b), or both, would
(m) The provisions of this Section are severable. If any provision
of this Section or its application is held invalid, that invalidity shall
not affect other provisions or applications that can be given effect
without the invalid provision or application.