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Dimitry K., Esq.
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What does Georgia law say about disturbing the peace with a

Resolved Question:

What does Georgia law say about disturbing the peace with a loud car?
My neighbor's car is very annoying anywhere in our house, even when it is idling, but he revs it up very often. I have much video and audio and so far have not been able to get the local Sheriff's office to do anything.

Can you cite the pertinent law?

Thanks.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question. What city specifically do you reside in, as noise ordinances are usually municipal codes and are not state set.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I am not in the city limits. This is a small, one-street subdivision with about 50 houses. Mail address is Resaca, GA. Gordon County seat is Calhoun.
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

I have review both Calhoun and Gordon County codes and there is no mention of a noise statute--about the closes that Gordon County comes to a noise violation is that the County forbids parties to put up signs that make noise, even if the noise is unintelligible.

I will provide you with the link above for the municipal code, so you can review it for yourself.

http://www.municode.com/Library/clientCodePage.aspx?clientID=5357

The closest city that does have a noise ordinance is Atlana, which I have provided to you below:

Sec. 74-133. Excessive noise.

It shall be unlawful for any person to make, continue or cause to be made or continued any loud or excessive noise which unreasonably interferes with the comfort, response, health and safety of others within the jurisdiction of the city.

(Code 1977, § 17-3102)

Sec. 74-134. Specific prohibitions.

In addition to the general prohibition set out in section 74-133, the following specific acts are declared to be in violation of this article:

(1) Horns, signaling devices. The sounding of any horn or signaling device of a motor vehicle on any street or public place within the jurisdiction of the city continuously or intermittently for a period in excess of 60 seconds, except as a danger or emergency warning.

(2) Radios, televisions, musical instruments and similar devices.

a. The operation or playing of any radio, musical instrument or similar device which produces sound on the public right-of-way in such a manner as to be plainly audible to any person other than the player or operator of the device.

b. The operating or playing of any radio, television, phonograph, musical instrument or similar device which produces or reproduces sound in a manner as to be plainly audible at a distance of 15 meters (50 feet) to any person in a commercial, industrial, residential or noise-sensitive area, multifamily dwelling, motor vehicle or public space.

(3) Loudspeakers and sound amplifiers. The use or operation of any loudspeaker system, sound amplifier or other similar device between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. on weekdays, and 10:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m. on weekends and holidays, within or adjacent to residential or noise-sensitive areas, public rights-of-way or public space such that the sound therefrom is plainly audible across the real property line of the source; provided that this shall not apply to any public performance, gathering or parade for which a permit has been obtained from the city, nor shall it apply to performances at the Chastain Park Amphitheater or at any amphitheater constructed upon the Lakewood Fairgrounds whenever the same is governed by another ordinance or by contract as to acceptable levels of sound and as to hours.

(4) Street sales. The offering for sale by shouting or outcry within any residential, commercial or noise-sensitive area, public rights-of-way or public space except by permit issued by the city.

(5) Animals. The owning, possessing or harboring of any animal which frequently or continuously howls, barks, meows, squawks or makes other sounds which create excessive noise across a residential or commercial real property line or within a noise-sensitive area. For the purpose of this article, barking dogs shall include a dog that barks, bays, cries, howls or makes any other noise continuously for a period of ten minutes, or barks intermittently for one-half hour or more to the disturbance at any time of day or night regardless of whether the dog is physically situated in or upon private property.

(6) Construction and demolition. The operating of any equipment used in construction work within 1,500 feet of any residential or noise-sensitive area between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. on weekdays and 10:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m. on weekends and holidays, except for emergency work; and to prohibit pile driving, jackhammering, and blasting on weekends and holidays, and for all other days between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. For purposes of this subsection, distances are to be measured from the property line of the nearest residence in a noise-sensitive area in any direction to the prohibited construction operation.

(7) Powered model vehicles. The operation of, or permitting the operation of, powered model vehicles between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. on weekdays, and 10:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m. on weekends or holidays within or adjacent to residential or noise-sensitive areas, public rights-of-way or public space such that the sound therefrom is plainly audible across the real property line of the source.

(8) Emergency signaling devices.

a. Except in case of an emergency, the intentional sounding of any alarm between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.

b. The testing of any alarm for a period in excess of 60 seconds at any time.

c. The testing of a complete emergency signaling system, including the signaling device and the personnel response to the signaling device, more than once in each calendar month, and the sounding of the emergency signaling system for a period in excess of 15 minutes.

(9) Motor vehicles.

a. No person shall operate or cause to be operated any motor vehicle or motorcycle not equipped with a muffler or other device in good working order so as to effectively prevent loud or explosive noises therefrom.

(10) Blowers, engines, machinery, etc. The operation by any person of any noise-creating power blower, power fan, power tool, air compressor, internal-combustion engine (except trains, motor vehicles or motorcycles), or other similar equipment or machinery which causes noise due to its operation, within 1,500 feet of any residential or noise-sensitive area, unless the blower, fan, tool, compressor, engine or other machine is equipped with a functional muffler device or is contained or housed within a structure sufficient to deaden the noise to the point that it is not plainly audible to a person of normal hearing ability in the residential or noise-sensitive area nearest the source of such noise, between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. on weekdays and 10:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m. on weekends and holidays.

(11) Commercial garbage collection. The servicing of a private, commercial garbage dumpster by any person using garbage collection vehicles and equipment within 1,500 feet of any multifamily dwelling, residential area or noise-sensitive area between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. on weekdays and between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 8:00 A.m. on weekends and holidays, or within 500 feet of any multi-family dwelling, residential area or noise-sensitive area, between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. on weekdays and between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. on weekends and holidays; however, this shall not apply to the collection of garbage from any establishment which has a plastic lid on its dumpster and where it has been determined by the commissioner of public works or designee that the collection of garbage during the establishment's hours of operation would be a safety hazard.

(Code 1977, § 17-3103; Ord. No. 1995-17, § 1, 5-21-95)

Sec. 74-135. Special permits.

Any person desiring relief from the provisions of section 74-134(6) of this article shall apply for a special permit to cause or create noise which would otherwise be in violation of this article at least 21 days prior to the date for which the relief is requested. Applications for a special permit shall be made in writing to the commissioner of public works, or the designee of such commissioner, on forms provided for that purpose. Payment of a fee of $100.00 shall accompany the application. The commissioner shall grant a special permit upon a showing by the applicant of the following:

(1) Additional time is necessary for the applicant to alter or modify the activity in order to comply with the provisions of this article; or

(2) The activity, operation or noise source will be of a temporary duration and cannot be done in a manner that would comply with the provisions of this article; and

(3) No reasonable alternative is available to the applicant.

Any permit granted pursuant to this section shall contain thereon all conditions upon which the permit has been granted, including but not limited to the effective date, time of day, location and equipment limitation. No special permit shall be issued for a period in excess of 15 consecutive days. Any special permit granted pursuant to this section may be renewed upon application to the commissioner of public works upon a showing that the reasons for which the permit was granted still exist.

(Code 1977, § 17-3104)

Sec. 74-136. Penalties.

Any person who violates any provision of this article shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of section 1-8; however, in the case of a violation involving a motor vehicle, the person charged with a violation may be granted a period of 15 days in which to correct the cause of the sound.



Edited by Dimitry Alexander Kaplun on 7/1/2010 at 5:39 AM EST
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Surely there is a GEORGIA LAW forbidding harassment. That is what this is, more than a motor vehicle issue. This person uses his modified Mustang, his race car, dirt bikes "four-wheelers" loud radios, car horns and whatever else comes to hand to harass us.

Atlanta law is no help here, except as a model for a county law, but I would die of old age before I could make that happen.

When we asked the neighbor to hold it down, he said we should turn down our hearing aids. (We are 64 and don't need hearing aids. He woke my wife last night at 10:30 PM. She was on the far side of the house, wearing ear plugs.)
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your patience.

This is not a harassment issue, but is a noise complaint issue. Your other option is a civil complaint for a private nuisance, in which you claim to the courts that the other party is engaged in "substantial and unreasonable interference" with another private individual's use or enjoyment or property that he actually possesses or to which he has a right of immediate possession. Their screaming and shouting does affect your property rights, and if you speak to other neighbors, you may even attempt to bring a group petition for a public nuisance as well, which is defined as an act that unreasonably interferences with the health, safety or property rights of the community at large.

Good luck.

Edited by Dimitry Alexander Kaplun on 7/1/2010 at 4:26 PM EST
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 38535
Experience: Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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Dimitry K., Esq.
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