Is it legal for some one to lean into your vehicle and photo the contents without your permission?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is it legal for some one to lean into your vehicle and photo the contents without your permission?

My soon to be ex brother in law watched and photographed as my sister, mother, and HIS children placed my sisters belongings in our vehicles and then leaned in to MY suv and told me I HAD to let him photograph EVERYTHING in my car, I placed my hand on the lens and yelled ‘no’ He is saying I assaulted him, who is right?

Asked on August 28, 2016 under Personal Injury, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You are both right:
1) He *can* legally photograph from outside the vehicle, anything which he can see through the windows, the same way he can legally look at anything visible through the windows. But he can't lean into or enter your vehicle--that is trespassing.
2) However, even if he trespassed, you cannot push him away--that can be assault or battery, since the law does not give you a privilege to use force, even minimal force, on someone who is not a threat. The legally correct response would have been to call the police on him--preferably after using your cell phone camera to photograph him trespassing, etc.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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