In July of 2015, William Meredith of KY shot down a drone belonging to David Boggs as it flew over his property. While Meredith was subsequently arrested on a criminal mischief charge, local judge Rebecca Ward dismissed the charges against him, saying that the drone did indeed represent “an invasion of their privacy,” and that Meredith “had the right to shoot” the drone.
Meredith was quick to capitalize on the ruling, dubbing himself “the droneslayer” and introducing droneslayer t-shirts for sale. Boggs, however, stunned over the dismissal and recognizing a potentially dangerous precedent, decided to appeal the case. While the drone industry awaited a potentially significant ruling – one that would clearly establish who ultimately owns the sky – Meredith asked for the case to be dismissed, with his lawyers arguing that the case’s important was exaggerated:
The Plaintiff, in response to the criminal charges being dismissed against the Defendant, is using the declaratory remedy to attempt to create subject matter jurisdiction – the proverbial mountain out of a molehill. A careful reading of the Complaint reveals the argument to be as follows: The Defendent damaged the Plaintiff’s drone….In reality, this is a Bullitt County small claims court case.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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