Aerial Intrusion? Drone Privacy Battle Reaches Michigan Court

The Michigan Supreme Court is set to deliberate on a case centered on the legitimacy of drone imagery of a salvage yard located near Traverse City. Todd and Heather Maxon, the owners of the yard, were slapped with a lawsuit based on aerial photographs evidencing their purported violation of zoning regulations and nuisance creation with salvaged materials in Long Lake Township.

Challenging the legality of the aerial images, the Maxons reportedly insist that they breach their constitutional right to protection from unreasonable searches. Despite their arguments, both a local judge and the state Court of Appeals have ruled in favor of their accusers.

Todd Maxon firmly stated, “Like every American, I have a right to be secure on my property without being watched by a government drone.”

In 2022, the appeals court declared the disagreement a civil issue, dismissing any criminal connotations.

“The township seeks a declaratory judgment and to abate a nuisance. There are no officers involved,” the court explained in a 2-1 decision.

The Supreme Court recently confirmed that it would consider the dispute in its forthcoming term.


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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of DroneXL.co, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and EVXL.co, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ dronexl.co or @hayekesteloo.

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