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FAA Drone Registration

This blogpost will clearly explain the process of how to register your drone with the Federal Aviation Association. The FAA has actually made the process of registering drone a rather smooth and simple process.

Why is Drone Registration Necessary?

Plain and simple the FAA wants drones registered to increase the safety of people both in the air and on the ground. With more than 1 million drones registered with the FAA they have their hands full trying to keep people safe.

“Registration is all about safety,” says FAA spokesperson Jim Peters. “It provides us with a key opportunity to educate the new generation of airspace users that as soon as they start flying outside, they’re pilots. There are safety implications to how they fly, and there are rules and regulations they must follow. When necessary, registration will help us track down people who operate unsafely.”

Drone Pilots Will be Held Accountable for their Actions

There are countless examples of people flying their drones dangerously close to other aircraft and restricted areas. Drones have interfered with:

  • Commercial airplanes,
  • Planes and helicopters in the process of fighting wildfires.
  • One drone even landed on the lawn of the White House.

The FAA sees the registration process as an important stepping-stone to a clear, long-term policy making drones safer for everyone.

What are the Penalties for NOT Registering a Drone? 

It’s difficult for the FAA to enforce these penalties but the fines are steep. 

  • Civil penalties can reach $27,500!
  • Criminal penalties can cost you as much as $250,000 and three years in prison!

Who Needs to Register their Drone?

Registering once gives recreational pilots a registration number, akin to a driver’s license number. The recreation drone registration number applies to any drone that you may own and is good for three years. After the registration number expires then you will simply go through the registration process again.

When you buy another drone you’re not required to go through the registration process again because the registration number is for the person and not the drone itself. 

Who is NOT required to Register their Drone?

  • If your drone weighs less than 0.55 pounds.
  • If you’re only going to fly your drone indoors.
  • If your drone weighs more than 55 pounds you’ll go through a different registration process.
  • If you’re using your drone for commercial purposes—which means you’re using your drone to make money then you need to go through a different more cumbersome registration process.

How to Register Your Drone

You’ll register your drone through the FAA’s website at faadronezone.faa.gov. The FAA website makes the registration process very simple.

You’ll also get a registration certificate emailed to you, which you’ll need to print out (or keep handy on your mobile device) and have with you when flying. Once your drone is officially registered you are cleared for takeoff!

Placing the Registration no. on the Drone

You must then place the registration number on the Exterior of your Drone. It must be visible on the exterior of the drone without having to remove any parts to view the registration number.

If you have questions about FAA registration compliance then contact the Dunaway Law Group at 480-389-6529 or send us a message HERE.

Commercial Drone Insurance

Do I Need Commercial Drone Insurance?

Currently the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) doesn’t require insurance for commercial drone operators in the United States. However, drone insurance is something you should seriously consider to limit your risk exposure.

Two basic Type of Commercial Drone Insurance

There are two basic forms of drone insurance; 1) insurance that protects the actual drone, in case you crash it! 2) insurance that protects you if the drone you are piloting crashes into another person or their property is damaged.

Hull Insurance- Insure the Actual Drone

“Hull insurance” covers damage to the drone itself. Hull insurance becomes more and more important as the cost of UAV’s – Drones continues to skyrocket. For instance, a Cinema company, Brain Farm, spent early $250,000 developing its own drone!

In other words, Hull Insurance provides protection for physical damage to your drone in the event that you crash it!

drone Liability Insurance

Liability insurance covers damage caused to a third-party by your drone, including bodily injury and property damage. Liability insurance is usually required by companies setting up an in-house operation. Many companies also require service providers to show proof of liability insurance before contracting drone outside services.

The first step: determine if the drone is non-owned or owned by your company.

For non-owned drone operations you should secure a Non-owned UAS liability policy. This type of policy provides contingent third party liability coverage. UAS liability insurance offers coverage for a third-party bodily injury or property damage claim arising from the use of the drone on your behalf. The drone operator’s policy serves as the primary layer of insurance (the first layer to respond to the claim), while the drone pilot’s insurance will act as an excess layer, providing back-up insurance.

For example, let’s say you hire a drone operator to film for you and the drone crashes, causing a personal injury or property damage to a 3rd party (perhaps a bystander) that sues you for those damages.

drone hull & liability policy

For drone pilots who own the drone they are piloting they should seek a Hull and liability policy. This policy provides third party liability coverage (like the non-owned policy), however, it will not be contingent. Your policy will be the first level of protection against a claim.

Aircraft Insurance Policies — claims or suits that arise out of the ownership, maintenance, or use of aircraft are generally excluded under the standard commercial general liability (CGL) forms. Businesses that elect to use private aircraft in their operations must purchase specialty insurance to cover their aircraft liability loss exposure: aircraft liability coverage or stand-alone nonowned aircraft liability and perhaps excess aircraft liability coverage as well. Coverage for third-party aircraft liability is often provided, which also includes hull (physical damage) and medical payments coverages.

Confused by commercial drone insurance and how it should be incorporated into your business? Then contact the Dunaway Law Group, PLC by phone at 480-389-6529 or message us HERE.

Discovery in Lawsuit

During a lawsuit each party has the opportunity to request formal “discovery” from the opposing party. These requests for discovery is accomplished by sending the opposing party four different “packets” requesting certain types of information.  

I have included a copy of our initial drafts requesting information from the opposing party for your review and feedback. Pay particularly close attention to dates, names, and places to make sure that they are factually correct.

stack of legal documents

Uniform Interrogatories:

Is a series of questions that are listed in the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure. Depending on the type of case there is a set of different questions for the opposing party.

Non-Uniform Interrogatories:

Give us the opportunity to write our own questions for the opposing party. For example, we could ask the opposing party, “Explain in detail why you did not make the payments as agreed”.

Request for Admissions:

This allows us the opportunity to present statements to the opposing party in a way where they should respond in the affirmative. If they do not respond in the affirmative then they must provide an explanation of why they denied the statement. For example, we could write a statement, “Admit you did not pay back the money as agreed”. They are forced to “admit” the statement or deny it and then give a detailed explanation as to why they denied the statement.  

Request for Documents:

We are given the opportunity to request up to 10 different sets of documents from the opposing party.

In Arizona, the opposing party has 20 days–in a Superior Court case or 30 days in the Justice Court–to produce the documents requested and their written responses.

Lastly, similar to 26.1 initial discovery statements. These packets are not exchanged with the Court. In fact, the Judge will never see this information unless a specific piece of information is formally introduced as evidence at trial. So don’t worry about impressing the judge, we are simply trying to gain useful information.

If you need help from an Arizona real estate attorney then contact the Dunaway Law Group at 480-389-6529 or send us a message HERE.

Motion for Summary Judgment

What is a Motion for Summary Judgment?

A Motion for Summary Judgment is a pleading filed with an Arizona court where a party is asking the judge to rule on a single issue—or the whole case—without the need for a trial. In order for summary judgment to be granted, there must be “no genuine issues of material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law”. This means that the undisputed facts presented in a particular case entitle one side to win because of the existing law relating to that issue.

When considering a Motion for Summary Judgment, the Arizona judges must view all “the evidence and all reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the non-moving party.” Rowland v. Kellogg Brown and Root Inc. Per Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure 56(c), only if the Arizona court makes a finding that no genuine issue of material fact exists can the moving party be granted a judgment as a matter of law. If issues of material fact exist then the Motion for Summary Judgment should be dismissed in its entirety.

Arizona courts are cautioned not to use summary judgment proceedings as a substitute for trials, the motion should be granted if the facts produced in support of the claim or defense have so little probative value, given the quantum of evidence required, that reasonable people could not agree with the conclusion advanced by the proponent of the claim or defense.

The burden of persuasion on the party seeking summary judgment is heavy and if there is any genuine issue as to a material factual issue is present, the motion should be denied.

Statement of Facts and Affidavit

There are two documents filed in conjunction with the motion for summary judgment itself; 1) a statement of facts and 2) an affidavit of facts.

  • Statement of Facts– The statement of facts lays out the facts as moving party sees them. In addition, to just stating the “facts”, they must also cite to specific documents that supports their statements.
  • Affidavit in Support– Additionally, the moving party must file an affidavit where they swear under oath that each of the statements they make are true.

Why Did They File for Summary Judgment?

Just because the opposing party filed a Motion for Summary Judgment it doesn’t mean that you did something wrong or they have an extraordinarily strong case where the judge will enter judgment in their favor without even going to trial.

It is quite common for Motions for Summary Judgment to be filed in Arizona cases. In part they are filed because a judge can rule on just one aspect of the case. This will allow them to see if they can “chip at the edges” of our lawsuit and see if they can get anything dismissed at this time.

What Should you Do?

You must file a response to the Motion for Summary Judgment and explain to the Arizona judge why the case should move forward to trial. As part of the response a statement of facts and affidavit must also be filed. Similar to the opposing party’s statement of facts you must cite a source for every statement you make to the court. Doing this can be incredibly tedious and time consuming. The response and accompanying documents must be filed within 30 days of receiving their Motion!

What If the Summary Judgment is Granted?

If the motion is granted, the judgment on the issue or case is deemed to be a final judgment from which a party may appeal. An Arizona court of appeal can reverse the summary judgment and reinstate the claim in the Superior Court. However, this is rarely done and most summary judgments are upheld on appeal.

If you need help from an Arizona real estate attorney then contact the Dunaway Law Group at or 480-389-6529 by sending us a message HERE.

Recovering Future Rents from Tenant

If a tenant that is under a current lease agreement who is evicted or abandons the property; can that landlord sue for all future rents thru the end of the lease? The answer is; “yes”, “no” and “maybe”.

Let me answer this question by using an example. Landlord and Tenant sign a 24 month lease agreement. Tenant promises to pay $1,000 each month for rent. However, 6 months into the lease term the tenant does not pay rent and so the landlord evicts him. Tenant still has 18 months left on his 2 year lease. Can landlord sue tenant for the remaining 18 months? Maybe, I will answer the question in greater detail below.

No, Landlords may not sue for future rents

Hypothetically, if the landlord finds a new tenant who begins paying rent the very next month then landlord may not sue the initial previous tenants for the future rent he should have paid. A landlord may not sue a tenant for future unpaid rents at an eviction hearing. Because the landlord won’t know how long the property will sit empty and therefore the courts award would be based off of speculation. But a landlord can sue for all past rents owed during an eviction lawsuit.

A landlord has a duty to “mitigate” his losses. A landlord mitigates his losses after an eviction by doing everything possible to re-rent the property. Landlord must take the same actions they would if re-renting the property under normal circumstances. The Arizona landlord cannot simply let the property sit empty for 18 months and then sue the tenant because the property sat empty. He must take all reasonable actions to re-rent the property as soon as possible. Again, a landlord may not sue a tenant for future rent through an eviction lawsuit. However, there is another option a landlord may take to recoup losses from a breaching tenant.

Yes, a Landlord MAY sue a former tenant for unpaid rents.

Yes, a landlord may sue a former tenant for unpaid rents after they were evicted from the Property. However, the landlord must first market and re-rent the Property before suing the former tenant. The law doesn’t allow for double-dipping, meaning you cannot sue a former tenant for terminating a lease 16 months earlier while collecting rent each month from a new tenant.

However, you can sue a previous tenant for all the months the Property sat vacant until it was re-leased to a new person. Using the example from above, let’s assume the landlord re-rented the Property one month after evicting the previous tenant. In this situation the Property only sat empty for one month and so the previous tenant is only liable to one months rent to the Landlord. Regardless of how many more months or years were left on a previous tenants lease, a landlord can only sue for the months the Property actually sat empty.

If you need help from an Arizona landlord – tenant attorney then contact the Dunaway Law Group at 480-389-6529 or message us HERE.