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  • Police at my front door

    Weather permitting, I spend a lot of time nude in my backyard... laying out by my pool, gardening etc. Have been doing this for at least 20 yrs. I live in a fairly isolated area of the county on the fringe of a nature preserve. I have a 6 foot privacy fence around my property, and 22 tall trees (I counted) at the back property line. There is a house on the other side of these trees about 200 hundred feet away, with a single second story window. Someone in that house, using binoculars, must have have gotten a glance of me through the thick branches and leaves that separate our properties and called the police.

    When I opened the door, the policewoman indicated that I had been noticed nude in my own backyard and that was offensive someone in the house across the way. She simply asked that I cover up when in my yard. Not to be confrontational, but I did ask if being nude (non-sexual) in the privacy of my back yard was illegal in Central Florida, especially with so many layers of privacy? She said honestly she did not know.

    Has anyone else had this issue and if so, I am curious how to handle this??

  • #2
    Did you get a business card from the policewoman? If possible, I would invite her back. Walk her into the back yard so that she can see how private it is. Are there areas that need improvement? Additional screening, etc At what locations in your yard can you see her windows? Explain that you do not want any legal trouble. If this person is using binoculars or a telescope maybe she should speak to them about Peeping Tom charges.

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    • #3
      FL is pretty open to people enjoying the privacy of their own yard as a whole. Back in the late 70s there was a major lawsuit filed by a woman in Tampa who was sunbathing nude in her backyard and harassed by police...she settled for a sizable sum. While I am no attorney, there are legal resources in AANR you might be able to access for the cost of an annual membership, I believe that privacy is the key. If you can't be seen by a neighbor as a general rule, you are likely free to enjoy your yard as you choose. However, if someone has an unobstructed view from an upstairs window right next door, they may have a valid legal complaint. You also might contact the local DA office and ask for an opinion. I would suggest you at least approach the neighbors and see if they have any issues they are willing to discuss with you.

      Maybe you should contact an attorney and discuss options...most provide a free initial meeting and that might be all you need to understand your rights. FL state code covering prohibited acts involving nudity can be found under this section...Title XLVI, Crimes Chapter 800, Lewdness; Indecent Exposure

      http://naturistaction.org/StatesFram...rida_laws.html

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      • #4
        Florida also allows localities to have more restrictive laws than the State level ones. So check your town and county laws, too - if you care.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the input. I did ask the police woman to see how private my back yard really is, but she declined. My wife strongly suggested that I not contact the neighbor to avoid confrontation. Their position was clearly stated when they contacted law enforcement.

          I am a member of AANR and have emailed them for their thoughts. They are also located in Florida so I presume they know the statutes and can advise me. "IF" there is some law that prohibits being nude in the privacy of one's yard if someone can see.. is there any distance factor here? Another words, if they can only see with binoculars but not the naked eye, does this count as well? I brought up the peeping tom issue to AANR and curious to hear what they say about that too.

          The shame of it is... I enjoy being nude very much and now feel somewhat restricted. My wife also no longer wants to layout nude either. We moved to this area specifically because of the privacy and that is now in question.

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          • #6
            My thoughts would be that if they can see you from their upstairs window, they can complain regardless of how they see you. Unless you are doing something lewd, you would be susceptible to a charge of disturbing the peace because you are doing something that causes the neighbor to call the police.

            Just my thoughts based on the myriad of articles read on the subject.

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            • #7
              This is a case where they are so far away that they can't really see any genitals. They are purely offended merely because they know you are nude, not because of being able to actually see any of the so-called 'offensive' parts. It is a psychic crime. And of course even if you somehow made the trees thicker and made the vista binocular proof, they would still 'know' you are being nude there, and be even more pissed off about it. If there are any more complaints you might be able to go to the court to have a peace order issued prohibiting them from using binoculars, scopes, cameras or other devices to increase their ability to violate your reasonable expectation of privacy.

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              • #8
                You should remodel the side your house that faces your neighbor.

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                • #9
                  That is a good one,but you forget the thumb :-)

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                  • #10
                    Yeah, that's a great one!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by paul1961 View Post
                      Did you get a business card from the policewoman? If possible, I would invite her back. Walk her into the back yard so that she can see how private it is. Are there areas that need improvement? Additional screening, etc At what locations in your yard can you see her windows? Explain that you do not want any legal trouble. If this person is using binoculars or a telescope maybe she should speak to them about Peeping Tom charges.
                      Hey paul 1961. I agree with you 100%! here. What got my attention was the part about the lady using binoculars to view the man. Like you said, wouldn't that fall under peeping tom laws? Or also what is called a flatout invasion of privacy? To me, that would be like someone coming on to your property to look through the window(s) of your home to see you naked. Unless a legitimate crime is being committed, what you do in your own home is none of anyone else's business! Well, its kind of the same thing here. She used her binoculars to see the guy naked in the privacy of his backyard, which he states was fairly secluded from public view. It's definitely something to possibly think about and pursue. If it were me, I certainly would have on the spot! It's not like he went out of his way to make himself visible to the lady and deliberately offend her. If I had used either a telescope or a pair of binoculars to spy on a naked lady in her home, what do you thing would have happened to me when the police showed up at my front door? Just my thoughts on this matter.

                      Ken Palmer

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by garbo View Post
                        Thanks for the input. I did ask the police woman to see how private my back yard really is, but she declined. My wife strongly suggested that I not contact the neighbor to avoid confrontation. Their position was clearly stated when they contacted law enforcement.

                        I am a member of AANR and have emailed them for their thoughts. They are also located in Florida so I presume they know the statutes and can advise me. "IF" there is some law that prohibits being nude in the privacy of one's yard if someone can see.. is there any distance factor here? Another words, if they can only see with binoculars but not the naked eye, does this count as well? I brought up the peeping tom issue to AANR and curious to hear what they say about that too.

                        The shame of it is... I enjoy being nude very much and now feel somewhat restricted. My wife also no longer wants to layout nude either. We moved to this area specifically because of the privacy and that is now in question.
                        ----------------------------------

                        Somewhat late here but I have been off the grid with many personal issues and have been limiting on-line activities.

                        I am not an attorney and cannot give legal advise. - Standard disclaimer.

                        In general... and this is very general... a person must assure that they are shielded from the public. If your neighbor can see you nude from that upper window, then they can complain and they may have a legitimate complaint.

                        Inviting the police back to see how difficult it is, or to suggest the neighbor is using binoculars is not their job. They simply respond to complaints and advise. It is up to the district attorney and a judge to determine whether the person had a reasonable complaint presuming you got to court.

                        A naturists who used to live in my area had similar concerns. He was limited to a 6 ft privacy fence. However he was also limited to limiting raising the level of his property not more than 5 ft. So he cleverly created a 4-5 ft dirt berm around the side of the property that might have had exposure to neighbors, then erected his 6 ft fence on top of that, effectively creating an 11 ft privacy wall on that side. In this case that was completely legal for him to do.

                        You may want to look into this as a possible solution.

                        Quite often people get on their high horse about their personal rights and privacy but the fact remains that in most cases, it is up to you to shield yourself from others. Walking about nude in your own home with the blinds fully open is not a solution, and being inside your own home is not enough. People can still see you. The same is true of answering your door nude. It is asking for problems.

                        It may not be to our liking but that is how it is.

                        Now while FL has the greater number of nudist parks per capita - or so I have been led to believe - it remains one of the more conservative states when it comes to personal rights and the desire to keep you covered.

                        As such, be fair warned.

                        DMK

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                        • #13
                          Somewhat late, too. But I would like to add something else to my friend DMK's comment.

                          As I've said before, if you go nude in public, the law does not discern nudists from exhibitionists when an exposure in a public setting takes place. The 20-something in Oregon who walked by a school while naked, and the guy in Vermont who went naked into convenience stores, is viewed no differently than a 55-year old guy opening his raincoat in a public park.

                          Your AANR / FCN / TNS card = "But officer, I'm a NUDIST. I can do these things" does not absolve you. Ask the guy in Ontario who went through a drive-through naked, and tried to argue a) I'm a card carrying nudist and then when that failed b) Oh I was just expressing myself. Neither stood up as a defense.

                          Answering your door in the nude asks for trouble -- even if you post a sign. Open the door to the Girl Scouts or Jehovah's Witnesses (yeah I know "ha ha ha ha") and they call the police, using the argument "this is a nudist home" will not stand up.

                          And even if you are "expressing yourself" -- in many states, appearing nude to cause affront or alarm can be prosecuted.

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