You Have the Right to Remain Nude

Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts

Privacy and comfort are American rights. However, if your comfort is at the expense of another, you may be breaking indecent exposure laws. It’s important to understand if you have the right to remain nude and when you do.

Nudity laws differ, depending on where you live. In Pennsylvania, a recent superior court ruling allowed nudity when on private property, like while tanning in your backyard. Some cities allow complete nudity in public, others do only in specified areas. Depending on your state’s indecent exposure laws, being nude in public or public view may warrant arrest. If you’re spied on by neighbors while nude on your private property, you may be entitled to sue for breach of privacy.

The Law Office of Andrew Shubin is dedicated to upholding your civil liberties. Call us if you feel that your state’s nudity laws have impeded your rights. To schedule a free case evaluation, call the civil liberties lawyers at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin today at (814) 826-3586.

Do You Have the Right to Remain Nude?

All states have different laws regarding nudity. It is regarded as a civil right in some states; it is seen as a danger in others. Although there has recently been a superior court ruling allowing Pennsylvanians to be nude on their property, not all states have followed suit.

If being nude is comfortable and natural for you, it’s important to learn the laws in your state. Depending on where you live, the laws regarding nudity may vary.

For the most part, as long as you are on secluded, private property, you can be nude at your leisure.

Why Do You Have the Right to Remain Nude?

PLEASANT GAP, Pa. — As an American, you have the right to mow your lawn in the nude, a state superior court has ruled.

Charlie Stitzer, 63, won’t let bashfulness get in the way of donning a thong or completely dropping his trousers in his backyard on a hot summer night. It is a matter of comfort. But for one neighbor, Stitzer’s naked lolling was too much. The neighbor contacted authorities in June 2000, and Stitzer was arrested for indecent exposure. He was found guilty seven months later and sentenced to two years of probation.

But after months of legal wrangling, three superior court judges overturned the conviction in a unanimous decision last week, ruling that the state’s indecent exposure statute did not apply to Stitzer because the unmarried retiree was not exposing himself in a public place or drawing attention to himself. The judges also said that the backyard was private and that the complaining neighbor lived too far away, nearly 65 yards.

“This was a matter of civil liberties,” Stitzer’s lawyer, Andrew Shubin, told Court TV. “If someone had a problem with [Stitzer], they could avert their eyes or give him a call and complain. But there was absolutely no need for the government to get involved in this.” Assistant District Attorney Lance Marshall said he won’t appeal the ruling, but noted that he had the option to prosecute Stitzer in the future for a lesser disorderly conduct charge.

Do You Have the Right to Remain Nude in Public?

Being nude in public can cause a commotion. Although it is legal in some states and cities, it is widely illegal. There are concerns for safety and exposure to minors, so there are also requirements and things to keep in mind in states where it is legal.

Some states have nude beaches or spas that allow nudity in a public setting. Other cities permit public nudity, provided no one is uncomfortable. If you impede upon another person’s comfort, then you’ll be asked to cover up. Some states don’t have laws that specifically forbid or allow nudity in public areas either.

Partial nudity is also allowed in some instances. Men, for example, are often allowed to be topless in public without it being considered indecent exposure. Few cities allow women to do the same, however. Cities or states that allow all genders to be topless in public may not allow complete nudity.

Laws allowing nudity in public are often contingent on the public’s comfort levels. Although you may not be arrested if someone complains, you may be asked to get dressed. That’s why many states that allow nudity have designated areas, like beaches or parks, where nudity isn’t frowned upon.

The ramifications for being nude in public in a state that forbids it may vary. You could be arrested or receive a hefty fine.

Do You Have the Right to Remain Nude on Your Property?

You have the right to remain nude on your own property for the most part. It gets complicated, depending on where you are on your property and whether or not you are engaging in lewd activities.

Because of the ruling in Stitzer’s case, Pennsylvanians can be nude on their own property. This superior court ruling doesn’t apply to other states, however. To know if you can be visibly nude on your property, you should do your research. Depending on your activities, you may be arrested for indecent exposure.

If you are on your own, secluded property, like your backyard, there’s no reason for your neighbors to peep at you. That’s your private property, after all. Simply being nude in a secluded area that you own doesn’t give your neighbors the right to call the police. Officers may ask you to go inside or get dressed, depending on where you live. If you feel that your civil liberties are being impressed upon, you can hire an attorney. Should you be arrested or fined, an experienced attorney, like the civil liberties lawyers at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin, can fight for you.

Another’s judgment shouldn’t trump your right to comfort on your own property. When on your own property, especially if secluded, you should be able to wear as little clothing as you want.

Is Being Naked On Your Own Property Indecent Exposure?

Although you may have a right to be nude, whether on public or private property, there is the question of indecent exposure and consent. What does that mean, and does it apply to you?

Indecent exposure simply means that you are exposing your body in a contrary way to your state’s or city’s laws. So, if your city allows public nudity, but only in some specific areas, you may be arrested for indecent exposure if nude in an inappropriate location. Intentionally revealing private areas of your body in a lewd nature and intentionally causing another’s discomfort can be considered indecent exposure.

Generally, indecent exposure laws are broken when a person engages in lewd or non-consensual sexual acts in the nude. Some states consider it indecent exposure for women to be topless in public. These laws can become complicated if your state does allow public nudity to some degree.

If you live in a state with strict nudity laws, being nude in public can be considered an infringement upon another person’s rights. Your actions and intent may inform whether or not you are indecently exposing yourself, depending on where you live.

What If I Don’t Consent to Be Seen Naked?

Being nude on your private property does not mean you’ve given consent to be photographed or even seen. Neighbors watching you in the nude can warrant litigation depending on your property and where you live.

When in your backyard, you expect a level of privacy. That is especially true if your property is fenced or gated. Being nude in your backyard does not necessarily give your neighbors permission to watch you. If neighbors complain about your being nude on your private property, you may be able to sue them for a breach of privacy.

Breach of privacy can allow you to sue an offender. If you are nude in your fenced or gated private backyard, you are entitled to a certain degree of privacy. A neighbor spying or taking photos of you in the nude can warrant litigation. That can be considered an invasion of privacy. If you feel that a neighbor has invaded your privacy, an experienced attorney, like the civil liberties lawyers at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin, can help. Tanning nude in your backyard doesn’t mean you consent to neighbors or others to watch you.

However, it’s important to note that some states have strict laws regarding nudity when visible to the public. Although these laws can contradict freedom of expression and other civil liberties, your neighbors may complain to law enforcement.

Call Our Lawyers to Learn More About Your Right to Remain Nude

If you have complaining neighbors threatening to call the police because you are nude on your property, an attorney can help you. For a free case evaluation, call the civil liberties lawyers at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin today at (814) 826-3586.


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