The use of small, unmanned aircraft, or drones, by businesses and individuals is ever-increasing. As of December 21, 2015, all drones are required to be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Operators of unregistered drones could face criminal and civil penalties.

In January, a lawsuit was filed against self-proclaimed “Drone Slayer” William Merideth, a Kentucky man who shot down his neighbor’s drone in flight. John Boggs, the owner/operator of the drone, alleges that the FAA has exclusive authority over the operation of drones. Boggs is asking the court to issue a declaratory judgment that the United States airspace is not subject to private ownership and that flying a drone cannot constitute a trespass.

Last fall, criminal charges against Merideth over the incident were dismissed. The outcome of the civil case could help determine the rights of drone operators versus those of property owners. Learn more about FAA drone registration here. Access the Boggs v. Merideth complaint here. Contact us at Ossian Law P.C. regarding any information technology law matter.