Provides that a person may be guilty of the crime disorderly conduct when he makes unreasonable noise which is disturbing to one or more persons.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the penal law, in relation to making unreasonable noise
PURPOSE: This legislation would overturn existing judicial precedents that provide that to sustain a charge of unreasonable noise, there must be at least three (3) complaining witnesses.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: This legislation amends subdivision 2 of Section 240.20 of the Penal Law by providing that a charge of unreasonable noise may be sustained with only one (1) complainant.
JUSTIFICATION: A key element of local government efforts to protect the peace and good order of their communities is the enforcement of noise ordinances. Under existing law, state courts have rules that no charge of unreasonable noise may be sustained unless there are at least three (3) complaining witnesses. The magic number of three has been determined by the courts to be necessary for a disturbance to be "public" and therefore prosecutable under the law.
Unreasonable noise is unreasonable noise, whether it adversely impacts one person or one hundred. Further, objective standards exist in the form of decibel standards to determine whether noise is unreasonable. Given these objective standards, the number of people complaining should be irrelevant.
This legislation would correct the mistake of these court decisions by clearly stating that one complainant of unreasonable noise is sufficient to sustain a charge under the penal law when unreasonable noise is involved.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2009-10: S.231 2007-08: S.135 2005-06: S.586 2003-04: S.840 2001-02: S.6639
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: November 1st next succeeding the date after it shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ S. 804 A. 531 2011-2012 Regular Sessions S E N A T E - A S S E M B L Y (PREFILED) January 5, 2011 ___________IN SENATE -- Introduced by Sen. LAVALLE -- read twice and ordered print- ed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes IN ASSEMBLY -- Introduced by M. of A. THIELE -- read once and referred to the Committee on Codes AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to making unreasonable noise THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 2 of section 240.20 of the penal law is amended to read as follows: 2. He makes unreasonable noise WHICH IS DISTURBING TO ONE OR MORE PERSONS; or S 2. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD03721-01-1