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Samuels on noise law ruling

Councilman Charles R. Samuels’ released a statement yesterday regarding the Richmond General District Court Ruling on the noise law:

“Today, Richmond’s Noise law was found to be unconstitutional by the Richmond City General District Court. While I am disappointed in the outcome, I respect the judge’s decision and appreciate the efforts and advocacy of both the Richmond Office of the City Attorney and the defendants’ attorneys.

The law was challenged in Richmond General District Court by a band that was disturbing their neighbors after 11:00 p.m. at night. Today, the judge hearing the case found the current version of the law to be unconstitutionally overbroad and that it promotes religion and is therefore in violation of the First Amendment. He also explicitly rejected the defendants’ proposition that “plainly audible to any [other] person” is too vague a standard, upholding the “plainly audible” standard.

Much has been made of the issue with our city’s current noise law. After the Virginia Supreme Court’s Tanner decision nullified the “unreasonably loud” standard in 2009, I worked with the city attorney’s office to review what other options we had. Since April I have been meeting with a workgroup to craft a new noise ordinance which I hope to introduce in December or January, 2011.

I will continue working with the citizens of Richmond on this issue.”

The Honorable Charles R. Samuels, Councilman
Richmond City Council, North Central 2nd District

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