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Noise ordinance addressed

Friday, May 6, 2011

Larry Pierce
More people are opening their windows and leaving their homes to enjoy the warmer weather. However, for some local residents complaining to the Brazil City Police Department, it's becoming a noisy situation.

"We get noise complaints all the time," Brazil City Police Department Chief Larry Pierce recently told The Brazil Times. "Our number one call is for barking dogs. If we don't get three or four a day, it's really unusual."

Whether it's a barking dog, roaring stereo or a loud muffler, the Common Council of the City of Brazil has ordinances in place to prevent the occurrence of excessive noise at any time during the day from "residences, buildings, vehicles or other places within the corporate limits of the City of Brazil to preserve and protect the health, welfare and safety of the citizens of the City of Brazil."

According to section 94.05 of the Public Nuisances portion of the Brazil Code of Ordinances:

* No person shall permit excessive noise or to assemble, or permit persons to assemble, in any house, residential dwelling, apartment or building, located within the corporate limits of the city, who annoys, disturbs, injuries or endangers the health, peace or safety of the citizens of Brazil.

* No person shall operate any electronic sound amplification system or equipment, radio, cassette tape player, compact disc player or any machine, device, equipment or musical instrument which produces sound outside of any house, residential dwelling, apartment, building or other enclosed structure, which disturbs the peace, quiet, enjoyment or welfare of the neighborhood within the city at any hour of the day or night, except for a parade, musical concert or other lawful entertainment event approved by the Mayor.

* No person occupying a motor vehicle, bicycle, motorcycle or motor scooter on any street, highway, alley, parking lot, driveway or on any other public or private property within the corporate limits of the City of Brazil, shall operate or permit the operation of any sound amplification system or equipment, radio, cassette tape player, compact disc player, loud speaker or other electronic device used for the amplification of sound from within or on a motor vehicle, bicycle, motorcycle or motor scooter, so that the sound is plainly audible at a distance of 25-feet or more, or beyond the property line if the vehicle or the like is situated on private property.

For many residents, the question is "how loud is too loud?"

According to Pierce, the information in the ordinance covers that.

"It seems like common courtesy is gone sometimes," Pierce said about complaints often filed by feuding neighbors. "A lot of people work night shifts and sleep during the day. Most of the time, it's not the music that is too loud, it's the bass turned up all the way, which is rattling the windows of nearby homes."

For responding officers, the noise has to be plainly audible, which is defined in the ordinance code as being "any sound which clearly can be heard by unimpaired auditory senses based on a direct line of sight of 25-feet or more, including bass reverberation." "The words or phrases from a sound, or the music, need not be discernable for a violation to occur," Pierce said. "If it can be heard by an officer or resident 25-feet away, it's too loud."

Pierce said officers usually ask a person to stop or subdue the noise on their first call to a complaint, and then issue a ticket for the infraction if they have to return.

"But officers don't always arrive on the scene to hear the noise at the level it was complained about," Pierce said. "Although the officer might not hear the offense and be able to issue a ticket, the complainant can sign the ticket."

Pierce said it is similar to a "citizen's arrest," but the complainant has to be willing to testify in any potential court proceedings that may develop.

"It's an option for people to consider," Pierce said. "It would be a civil action and the person would have to be willing to testify just like an officer would have to if it went to court."

As for barking dog complaints, Pierce said Brazil City Ordinance 93.08 covers that issue.

"The ordinance reads, 'No person shall keep within the city, any animal which by loud and frequent barking, howling, yelping or other animal noises, disturbs the peace and quiet or annoys any citizens.' It's the same type of situation for responding officers," Pierce said. "If the animal is barking or howling in an continuous or untimely fashion, then it's too loud."

A violation of either ordinance leads to the potential fines of $25 for the first offense and $50 for each offense afterward.

"If residents have issues with noise complaints, we encourage them to contact the department," Pierce said. "I also want to personally let local residents know that if they feel a complaint, any complaint really, is not handled well, to contact me here at the department. I can't fix what I don't know is wrong."

For more information about Brazil City ordinances, log on to the city website at www.brazil.in.gov and select the City Ordinances button. Specific information can be searched once logged onto the American Legal Corporation website (www.amlegal.com/brazil_in).

To report information about a crime or a potential ordinance violation within the city limits of Brazil, contact the Brazil City Police Department at 446-2211.

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"Citizen's arrest, citizen's arrest", as Gomer says.

-- Posted by BWare on Sat, May 7, 2011, at 5:49 AM

We're in this life together. A little respect and "do unto others as you would have done unto you" goes a long way. With that said, people need not be on high alert for every little annoyance either. And please people, if your neighbor's habits really rise to the level of calling the police, how about talking it out with your neighbor first. Let's try working from an assumption that they don't intend to be bad neighbors.

-- Posted by brazilian on Sat, May 7, 2011, at 11:48 AM

brazilian...u said it very well! We have had the cops called on us alot for having band practice at our home. Are we doing this to make the neighbors mad? NO!! We have to have rehersal somewhere! We have takin the time to put foam n extra insulation on the band room so the neighbors arent able to hear as well. Yet they still call the cops! We do this in the afternoon hours so if there are those who sleep during the day we arent disturbing them. All they have to do is get with us and give us a time that would be good for them and maybe we can change the hours of rehersal. We try to make it so our neighbors cant hear it but that is very hard to do sometimes. I understand there are people who dont want to hear someone elses music, but keep in mind that when you are outside working in your yards and playing your country music that I dont want to hear that. But I dont go call the cops on you either! I think the ordinance should be changed a little to allow some hours of the day to be a little more free on the noise ordinance. I can see calling the cops if it was going on at 9 or 10 pm or 7 or 8 am. I do believe the neighbor or neighbors who call on us are doing the same thing with their radios that we do with a live band! As for the barking dogs....geez people, dogs bark for a reason! Either they are hungry, thirsty, or maybe the neighbors dog just ran by running loose!! Lets all try to be good neighbors and try to get along! We could save the officers some time if we could just negotiate a time that we can all have for our enjoyment!

-- Posted by dogslove on Sat, May 7, 2011, at 12:38 PM

I wonder if this would work for us non-smokers to just ask you to put out your cigarrets.This is just another kind arrogance that disrespects those people around you.How many times do your neighbors have to call the police until you get it!!!!????

-- Posted by clycogrl on Sat, May 7, 2011, at 4:55 PM

to clycogrl, Thats a ridiculous thing to say about smokers. Its no worst than being behind a Diesel truck that someone has Beefed up to blow black tar all over the place, and I dont see anyone saying anything about it. We have been banned from smoking in public places all over. Its dumb, if you want fresh air carry an oxygen tank or stay at home. you dont get it ANYWHERE. If someone is smoking near you outside, Walk away if you dont like it. Dont tell me to put it out. its MY cigarette.

-- Posted by bigchris0905 on Sat, May 7, 2011, at 11:38 PM

There you go,kill those around you and you could care less,men,woman and CHILDREN who might not be able to just get up and leave.Second hand smoke a known killer but you think you can just blow it to others.The world is full of people that cares for no one but themselves!!

-- Posted by clycogrl on Sun, May 8, 2011, at 6:34 PM

From my understanding of the State Law of Indiana after reading the laws published by the American Motorcyclist Association, the State does not enforce noise ordinances on motorcycles. To properly enforce sound codes in the State of Indiana the opinion of a police officer can not be considered. Emperical evidence obtained by accoustic measurement must be gathered to enforce a noise ordinance on a motorcycle. The State of Indiana has not and will not provide Law Enforcement with the proper equipment to gather necessary data. Opinions do not matter on a state level. I believe if this ordinance was pushed to the State House, it would fail.

I do agree we should love our neighbors. If they have a problem and voice their concern, we should accomadate unless their opinion chokes our personal freedom.

-- Posted by sickhorse on Sun, May 8, 2011, at 7:30 PM

I was recently asked to "step outside" yeld at then I was thrown to the ground arrested then taken to the hospital I spent three days of solitary confinement another 2 days in jail now I'm on 6 months probation all over a sound ordinance. I have been a musician for 30 years I have never been in trouble with the law in 30 years over music until I moved into my new house in brazil. If you don't live in the country you should expect to hear some noise of course you should be courteous to your neighbors but I also firmly believe that your neighbors should be courteous to you.

-- Posted by Thud on Sun, May 8, 2011, at 7:52 PM

Wow ! People who do theft crimes should have to spend that kind of time at least, not people with a clean record playing music, what cop was it ? You must have insulted the great one to recieve that treatment. Thats an example of excessive force if I ever heard one

-- Posted by Ombudsman on Mon, May 9, 2011, at 8:33 AM

quoting Thud

"I have never been in trouble with the law in 30 years over music" Read between the lines Omsbudsman,over music is the key part of the phrase. I am sure there are two sides to this story.

-- Posted by Brian Pierce on Mon, May 9, 2011, at 1:09 PM

It's time I lived up to my name and moved out into the county. This city and its leaders spend way too much time and too much energy on the wrong things, and completely ignore, or more accurately, willfully neglect those things that actually would improve the city and make people want to live here.

-- Posted by ClayCountyGuy on Mon, May 9, 2011, at 3:24 PM

There goes the neighborhood!

-- Posted by Proud of My Country on Mon, May 9, 2011, at 4:43 PM

Brian : I have a clean record period...pull my record. There are 5 sides to this story the facts still remain if anything I should of received 100 dollar ticket that night not police violence. 2 police officers did the right thing that night it only took 1 to do the wrong thing.

-- Posted by Thud on Mon, May 9, 2011, at 9:42 PM

holy noisy nuisances batman! it appears thud took a thumpin' at the hands of one of commissioner gorden's heavy hitters. will this badboy brutality befall the good citizens of gotham city? will this noggin' knockin' result in a permanent pattern of practice? will thud be allowed to continue with his musical mayhem? or will he suffer from another proverbial police pounding. or should thud call the justice league to assist him in his deprivation delimma? stay tuned next week: same bat time, same bat place, same bat channel

-- Posted by madmarkbedwell on Thu, May 12, 2011, at 6:12 AM

Saturday afternoon...I've never been so exited to hear the roar of an industrial lawn tractor. Like a kid waking up on Christmas morning I was. I ran to the nearest window and sure enough there was my savior riding his lawn mower just as loud as could be, he even had his protective ear muffins on. This was my indication that it was safe to play some church hymns :) Round and round he went and I knew as long as I could hear him I was safe from the noise nazis. Thank you mr lawn mower man if ya need some gas or some iced tea just knock on the door.

-- Posted by Thud on Thu, May 12, 2011, at 1:56 PM

Saturday afternoon...I've never been so exited to hear the roar of an industrial lawn tractor. Like a kid waking up on Christmas morning I was. I ran to the nearest window and sure enough there was my savior riding his lawn mower just as loud as could be, he even had his protective ear muffins on. This was my indication that it was safe to play some church hymns :) Round and round he went and I knew as long as I could hear him I was safe from the noise nazis. Thank you mr lawn mower man if ya need some gas or some iced tea just knock on the door.

-- Posted by Thud on Thu, May 12, 2011, at 1:57 PM

LOL....that is very funny Thud! You could probably pound out some rhythum for him on your drum set....a great shred would probably be in order too! Turn up....the volume! (This is a funny, just a funny...not intended to be serious in any way!)

-- Posted by Proud of My Country on Fri, May 13, 2011, at 11:22 AM

If its illegal for a dog to bark why is it not illegal for harleys to be loud or humans to speak dogs are going to bark when they see a bird squirrel or even a blowing leaf that is why most of us have them to warn us on something that could hurt us so the way I see it bark on little furry friends

-- Posted by cbaise on Sat, Apr 12, 2014, at 3:42 PM

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