Petition started to oppose recent noise law amendment

D.C. Students Speak, a student-run advocacy group that was behind the petition in support of the 2010 Campus Plan, has created a petition opposing the recently amended D.C. noise law.

The recent amendment makes it “unlawful for a person to make an unreasonably loud noise between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. that is likely to annoy or disturb one or more other persons in their residences.”

DCSS claims that the amendments to the law are too vague, as there is no definition in the law of what is to be considered likely to annoy or disturb.

Under the changes that took place at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, the noise violation is an arrestable offense and carries a penalty of up to a $500 fine and/or 90 days in jail.

As of early this morning the petition had more than 1,000 signatures, over 80 percent of which are from the D.C. area.

For those who want to fight for their right to party (or have a conversation outside after 10:00 p.m.), the petition is available to be signed online.

27 Comments on “Petition started to oppose recent noise law amendment

  1. It’s my constitutional right to scream as loud as I want an any hour of the night, neighbors be damned. These are STUDENT neighborhoods.

  2. @ Jeff Jones,
    The IP addresses can trace back to Mars. The law is unconstitutional. No petition necessary.

  3. There’s nothing unconstitutional about noise ordinances. Grow up.

  4. ““The 1972 decision of Grayned v. City of Rockford is the main Supreme Court precedent,” said the professor. “It outlines two ‘vices of vague statutes’ that could render the statutes unconstitutional: insufficient lack of notice, and an excessive amount of discretion given to police officers for selective enforcement. The District’s new ordinance appears to suffer from both of these vices. It’s the picture of vagueness and overbreadth.”

    More recently, the 1999 case City of Chicago v. Morales dealt with a similar issue of vagueness, with the court ruling that a law “so vague and standardless that it leaves the public uncertain as to the conduct it prohibits” is unconstitutional. Tracing the issue further back, the 1971 case Coates v. Cincinnati overturned a law prohibiting certain forms of assembly, claiming it violated due process for being “unconstitutionally vague,” “unconstitutionally broad,” and giving law enforcement far too much discretion. The new ordinance violates due process for the same reasons: the definition of “an unreasonably loud noise… likely to disturb or annoy” someone is astonishingly vague, leaving the matter entirely up to the discretion of law enforcement.”

    http://guprogressive.com/2011/02/03/dcs-new-noise-ordinance-is-unconstitutional/

  5. Hear, hear Old man. Students would do well to take your advice if they want us to start treating them like the adults they claim to be.

  6. 0m9zzzz I c4n N0t w4iit 2 liiv3 in bUrl3iTh n3xt yE4rrr! I h0p3 w3 R n3igHb0rs.

  7. COOL! Do us a favor and take it to court to remove ALL VAGUENESS and ANY DISCRETION the police might have. Maybe this will be your new scenario:

    COP: “Sorry, kid, mandatory jail for you. It’s after 10 pm and your party registered 40 decibels from the street curb. I can’t let you off the hook because the law is now very specific and I have no choice. Put your clothes on.”

    –Old Man

  8. Toss their asses in jail for the evening. Think of it as community service. You can walk down the street and tell which houses are student occupied. I’m certain when they’re home for the summer when they’re not out burning daddy’s cash in “the city” they don’t destroy their community. Walked through campus this morning and there were beer cans all over campus. Sad. Most of these kids can’t change their own oil or understand what truly runs the world. They’re a load on two feet. They’ve completely bastardized the idea of higher education. Snooki and the Situation have more brains then they do. At least they know what they don’t know.

  9. I truly refuse to believe that the comments made by individuals appearing to be residents around GU are representative of the greater community. To those who continue to comment on here in a manner that depicts Georgetown students as belligerent drunk thugs who go out of their way to urinate on front porches with no regard to civility solely because they have daddy’s trust fund to back them up, I encourage you to actually interact with the overwhelmingly majority of students who are kind, selfless, and bright individuals. If you actually believe that up to 90 days in jail is a reasonable punishment for \annoying\ someone, you have to be deliberately ignoring the vagueness and dangerous potential of the ordinance. While I understand where the complaints are coming from (after all it must be annoying to hear a raucous party when you are trying to sleep) this ordinance is simply not a reasonable or constitutional response.

  10. Dear Greg, that is hurtful, untrue and mean. I dont drink, I dont get a penny from my parents. Whether I am a “load” is up to you, but be nice. We can come up with some pretty choice slander too. Students, please refrain.

  11. If it isn’t you “most” don’t get upset and if you see others do something stupid stop them and remind them how their behavior affects the perception that others have of you. Just go to class and change the world but the campus had quite a few beer cans strewn about on Saturday morning and the behavior in the community speaks for itself. Now don’t get all Dan Snyder on me.
    Or maybe you can take a video and post it on Youtube. That seems to substitute for social activism these days.

  12. @ Beltway Greg,

    You wrote: “If it isn’t you ‘most’ don’t get upset and if you see others do something stupid stop them and remind them how their behavior affects the perception that others have of you. Just go to class and change the world but the campus had quite a few beer cans strewn about on Saturday morning and the behavior in the community speaks for itself.”

    Maybe instead of wasting your time posting on student blogs and shaking your fist at clouds/beer cans, you should take an intro-level writing class at Georgetown. It may be too advanced, given your obvious lack of familiarity with the rules governing run-on sentences, commas, pronoun usage, etc., but I still think you might get something out of it. Just be warned, though, there will almost certainly be college students there.

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  14. Complex sentences = complex ideas. Next time I’ll break it down into tiny little pieces for you.

  15. But how’s about we just do this home slice. Behave. If you can’t drink without barfing on your girl or boyfriend don’t and shut-up and pick-up after yourself. Is that too difficult? If we can manage to do these simple actions then the whole problem goes away.
    No cops, no community, no administration, all gone. Get it? Fifty people can live in one house and no one cares provided they behave. Be responsible.

  16. Party on the streets of Burleith!! Tonight we’re going har-har-har-har-har-hard!

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  18. I’ve seen your comments on Greater Greater Washington as well, and I have to say — the only words you have ever contributed to cyberspace have been inflammatory, demeaning, and negative. I’m sorry you have so much hate/anger/frustration that you have to spew vitriol all over the internet whenever you have a chance to metaphorically shake your fist at students. Maybe it would be better for your health and peace of mind if you retired to the country.

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  20. Really?! These college students I am assuming are above the age of 18. 18 years or older is stated as being an adult in the United States. Protesting against the fact that students cannot make noise at certain hours of the night is irrelivant. These students should be concentrating hard on their assignments, especially since this is college and they are adults who need to act like adults. To me this whole argument sounds like a bunch of whiny, spoiled, adolecent wanna be teenagers that need something to complain about. So what if its a student campus, I believe that the ordinance should stand for those students who are at the school focusing on academics. Just because of the fact that this is a student community does not give the right for partyers and noise makers to benefit. The law is protecting the rights of those students who take very seriously their student careers. For those of you making the argument for the noise makers, think about how you would want it for yourself or your children if given that either of you were good students put into this situation.

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