Local authorities never cease to amaze me. They are often ignorant of over-arching laws/regulations and make their decisions with supposed impunity. I'm familiar with the Causby vs US case and it's not as clear cut as we would like.
While the statement was made that the FAA occupies the entire field of regulation of the national airspace, the state in which I reside also says "... that only the...Legislature can make laws concerning the use of drones in the state, but allows local governments to enact drone ordinances related to nuisances, voyeurism, harassment, reckless endangerment, property damage, or other illegal acts". Most of us think we understand what is meant by harassment, reckless endangerment and property damage, but they included nebulous terms such as nuisances and other illegal acts which can mean whatever the authorities want. The mention of voyeurism conjures up visions of an aerial peeping tom peering in windows and over fences when most hobbyist drones have cameras with somewhere like a 24mm equivalent focal length which is very wide angle and unsuitable for detailed surveillance in the outdoors, much less through someone's window. It's this supposed voyeurism potential that prompted the state legislature to pass a law that "...prohibits the use of a drone to capture an image of privately owned property or the owner, tenant, or occupant of such property without consent if a reasonable expectation of privacy exists". Never mind that someone with a cellphone camera or suitably equipped camera and telephoto can shoot pictures of the same privately owned property or the owner, tenant, or occupant without needing consent if they are positioned above ground level, say, in a multistory dwelling/building. I guess Google Earth is exempt because their photos of privately owned property are satellite based. Lucky they don't use drones.
No doubt the bad blood that already existed between the Inspire pilot and his cop neighbor set the stage for future problems and the fact that he had already been confronted for flying across a piece of the neighbor's land when he later flew over the neighbor's house added fuel to the fire. I hope he's able to win on appeal to squash the state's move to regulate use of the NAS. With luck, it will give the FAA an opportunity to send a clear message that no other level of government can take it upon themselves to overstep their jurisdiction.
This is nothing more than pure harassment from the local city officials who now have a hard-on for this poor guy. Pure and simple. They are making a statement with their BS. Not allowing him to ever fly drones again?... It's got abuse written all over it. Unless you are loitering over any property, close enough to make out faces it is not against any regulations. There is a point being made here with local officials using the law to serve their own agendas. Pure BS nothing else. And if the current laws don't work for them, they make up new ones.
I posted about this sometime ago in MavicPilots.com Important case for UAV future flying - please help. and listed his fundraiser. I am glad he has decided to pursue the case whole-heartedly. At the time his fundraiser was not doing so well, but I see now he has exceeded his goal and pledges to send any extra funds to others in a similar situation.
I felt it was very important to support him (and did) as his case will set a precedent in the courts they may affect future cases.