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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Encounters at the end of Santa Cruz

One of our GDI collective memebers gives this report from our Herzog film showing:

cops came after 10pm (while the film was showing) and the main cop, chris, informed me that there had been a noise complaint.  he threatened to give me a ticket for amplified sound after 10pm under the noise ordinance and for not having an entertainment permit due to the amplified sound.  i negotiated that we would turn down rather than move it inside as he originally stipulated.  i countered his cause to harass us but ultimately my goal was to have the film continue.  he also wanted my name and had his pad and pen out.  i said i didn't see how that was relevant...the threats to give a ticket were restated...back and forth we went.  he put his pad away and i gave him my first name.  they left.

uh...i do wish i had specific codes and such so i could know exactly where i stand in these cases.  i feel that i did okay, but was a little unclear at times (but i didn't let that show).

We should print these laws on a card so we have them available:


9.40.010 Sound Amplification Permit Required
No person shall use or cause to be used at any place in the city whether on public property or private property any sound-amplifying device or equipment without first having secured a permit to do so from the police department, except as provided in Section 9.40.60.

9.40.60 Exception
The permits otherwise required by this chapter shall not be required of sound-amplifying equipment or devices under the following circumstances:
    (a) Sound-amplification equipment or devices used on privately owned property, whether indoors or outdoors, where the sound produced does not carry beyond the property line or does not unreasonably disturb any person outside the property where the sound is generated;
    (d) Radios, record players, TV’s, and tape players wherever used, when the volume does not exceed the volume of normal conversational speech;
Reading the fine print, what the law says is that if the sound does not carry beyond the property line OR if the sound does not unreasonably disturb any person, then there is no infraction.  This is why they always start by saying that they received a complaint (whether they did or didn't).

    (a) No person shall between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. make,
cause, suffer or permit to be made any offensive noise (1) which is made within one hundred feet of any building or place regularly used for sleeping purposes, or (2) which disturbs, or would tend to disturb, any person within hearing distance of such noise.
    (b) “Offensive noise” means any noise which is loud, boisterous, irritating, penetrating, or unusual, or that is unreasonably distracting in any other manner, such that it is likely to disturb people in the vicinity of such noise, and includes, but is not limited to, noise made by barking or howling dogs, by an individual alone or by a group of people engaged in any business meeting, gathering, game, dance, or amusement, or by any appliance, contrivance, device, structure, construction, ride, machine, implement, or instrument.
So for this one, if we were not within 100 feet of a residence, then there would have to be a complaint.  And the noise would have to be loud, boisterous, irritating, penetrating, or unusual, or that is unreasonably distracting in any other manner.  To hold up in court, they would be obligated to produce the complaint.

No person shall make, cause, suffer or permit to be made any noises or sounds (a) which are unreasonably disturbing or physically annoying to people of ordinary sensitiveness or which are so harsh or so prolonged or unnatural or unusual in their use, time or place as to cause physical discomfort to any person, and (b) which are not necessary in connection with an activity which is otherwise lawfully conducted.
Similar, to hold up in court, they would be obligated to produce the complaint.

Any person who violates any section of this chapter and is cited for such a violation, and who within forty-eight hours after receiving such a citation again violates the same section, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
I stood back from the movie, and it could barely be heard outside the fence line.  I seriously doubt they got a complaint.  Since all of these rely on them getting a complaint, it might behoove us to talk to our neighbors before any planned outdoor showing and invite them to the movie.

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