Legal Question in Civil Litigation in New York

There is a noise ordinance in the Town of Poughkeepsie in which $250 fines are routinely given out for minor noise violations. Members of my house have been victim of this ordinance when we are decibel level is low. We are college students and we feel the law is in place to take advantage of college students. The ordinance itself is poorly written here is what it says:


No person shall make, continue, cause or permit to be made any

unreasonable noise. Unreasonable noise is defined as any excessive or

unusually loud sound which injures or endangers the repose, health,

peace or safety of a reasonable person or which causes injury to animal

life or damages to a person's property or business.

Factors used to determine that noise is unreasonable to a

reasonable person are:

1) The noise occurs at night between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.,

rather than during the day;

2) Source of the sound is permanent, rather than temporary;

3) The noise is of a periodic or impulsive character, rather than

continual and steady;


4) The noise intrudes into a residential district or an area with

sleeping facilities, including residences, apartments, motels, hotels

or college dormitories;

5) The duration of the noise is prolonged, rather than short;

6) The noise is reoccurring on an intermittent basis, rather than

continual and steady;

7) The noise is louder and more intense than the volume and

intensity of the background noise in the area; and

8) The noise in unnatural, rather than sound normally occurring in nature.

Any person or party who or which is in violation of the noise

ordinance shall be guilty of a violation and shall be punished by a

fine of not more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) and/or a

term of imprisonment not to exceed fifteen (15) days, or both.

Each and every day the violation continues after the owner has

been notified of violation shall be deemed to be a separate and

distinct violation.

I was hoping you could give some advice to help fight and maybe get this town ordinance changed. I would greatly appreciate any help or advice. Thank you.

Asked on 5/11/10, 4:09 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Elizabeth Karnazes New York Offices of Elizabeth Karnazes

If you want to change it, you will need the help of someone in the legislature.

Read more
Answered on 5/21/10, 9:22 pm

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