Monday, August 10, 2015

Noise Complaints

Nearly everyone has had to put up with a neighbor’s noisy party or the dog down the street that never stops barking.

Although situations like these may seem inevitable, there is something you can do about them when they arise.

At a state-wide level, the Noise Control Act and Noise Control Regulations govern commercial and industrial sources of noise in New Jersey. However, the State leaves the regulation of residential noise and nuisances to more local authorities.

Overall noise enforcement is primarily handled at the county level by that county’s Public Health Department, which investigates noise complaints and issue violations when applicable.

On a day-to-day basis, individual municipalities can enforce their local nuisance codes to handle noise complaints.

New Jersey promulgates a Model Noise Control Ordinance, but not all municipalities use this. Some towns have enacted the model ordinance word-for-word or with just a few minor changes, while others have an entirely different set of ordinances.

Typically, noise restrictions are in place from 8 PM to 8 AM on weekdays and 8 PM to 9 AM on weekends. Exemptions from noise ordinances include fire signals, church bells during services, planes, road noise, trains, emergency sirens, and public celebrations.

Rather than memorizing your local noise ordinances, you should simply call the police if you are being bothered by a noise that you think is excessive. The police are trained to handle local noise disturbances. Once an officer is on site, they will make the determination as to whether the noise is a nuisance. Repeated violations by the same offender may result in a fine.

Additional information on who to call when you have a noise complaint can be found here.

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