Monday, March 14, 2016

Michigan Court of Appeals rules: Grand Rapids Noise ordinance is unconstitutionally vague

Attorneys for Tip Top Deluxe, a Grand Rapids bar that was cited for noise violations, argued police issued citations under a section of the Grand Rapids City noise ordinance that is unconstitutionally vague.

Judges at the state Court of Appeals agreed in an opinion released Tuesday, March 8.
The owners and two employees were cited under a city ordinance that reads:
"No person shall use any premises or suffer any premises under his or her care
or control to be used which shall destroy the peace and tranquility of the
surrounding neighborhood."

Article here (via mlive) 

Below is the analysis from the Michigan Bar's e-journal:

Issues: Municipal prosecution for the alleged violation of § 9.63(3) of the City of Grand Rapids Noise Ordinance; Constitutionality; Due process; Vagueness; People v. Lino; Grayned v. City of Rockford; People v. Howell; Vagueness of an ordinance prohibiting “annoying” passersby; Coates v. Cincinnati; Vagueness of an ordinance requiring the production of “credible and reliable” identification to police officers; Kolender v. Lawson; Vagueness of an ordinance prohibiting the use of “indecent, immoral, obscene, vulgar, or insulting language in the presence or hearing of any woman or child”; People v. Boomer; “Disturbance” of the peace; Lansing v. Hartsuff; Whether the use of a reasonable person standard in a noise ordinance is sufficient to give a person of ordinary intelligence fair notice the conduct is forbidden; Plymouth Twp. v. Hancock; Whether a narrowing construction of the ordinance would render it constitutional; People v. FP Books & News, Inc. (On Remand)

Summary: Holding that the plaintiff-city’s noise ordinance was unconstitutionally vague, the court reversed and remanded for dismissal of the citations against the defendants-bar owners and employee.

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