senate Bill S231

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

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Sponsor

Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 07 / Jan / 2009
    • REFERRED TO CODES
  • 06 / Jan / 2010
    • REFERRED TO CODES

Summary

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A232
Versions:
S231
Legislative Cycle:
2009-2010
Current Committee:
Senate Codes
Law Section:
Penal Law

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER: S231

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 :
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.
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