Legal Question in Criminal Law in Tennessee

Is there any criminal or civil law preventing anyone from placing a camera in a tree, stand, or pole on public or private property for still photos not of criminal nature?

Asked on 6/10/13, 12:40 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

There is no general law against placing a camera on your own private property, for example, a security camera or a game camera.

The camera cannot be used to take images that would invade the privacy of another. So even a camera in your own back yard and covering your fenceline cannot be used to zoom in and take images of your neighbors in their hot tub. See T.C.A. 39-13-605, below:

T.C.A. 39-13-605. Unlawful photographing in violation of privacy.

(a) It is an offense for a person to knowingly photograph, or cause to be photographed an individual, when the individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy, without the prior effective consent of the individual, or in the case of a minor, without the prior effective consent of the minor's parent or guardian, if the photograph:

(1) Would offend or embarrass an ordinary person if such person appeared in the photograph;


(2) Was taken for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification of the defendant.

(b) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires, "photograph" means any photograph or photographic reproduction, still or moving, or any videotape or live television transmission of any individual.

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Answered on 6/11/13, 6:00 am

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