Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Noise! It's Against the Law!

Now that we have to open our windows or tend to yard and garden work, we seem to be at the mercy of other people's taste in music or love of noisy devices, such as leaf blowers at 7 a.m. on a Saturday. Believe it or not, there is a section of the Plainfield Municipal Code on noise. 

Sec. 10:8-3.    Regulating and prohibiting unnecessary and disturbing noises; exceptions.15

15State law reference: As to power of municipality to regulate and prohibit, see N.J.S.A. 40:48-1 and 40:48-2; as to regulation of animals, see Chapter 5, Article 7 of this Code.

    (a)     No person shall willfully make or cause to be made any loud, boisterous or unseemly noise or disturbance to the annoyance of any other person; provided, nothing contained in this Section shall restrict or limit the normal use to be made of parks, recreation places, playing fields and playgrounds.
    (b)     No person shall, for commercial purposes, or in connection with any commercial enterprise, erect or locate any device or apparatus in or on the exterior of premises owned or occupied by him which by mechanical or electrical means, emits any loud sounds or noises, so as to annoy or disturb passersby on the street or the general public. The provisions of this Section shall not apply, in time of emergency, to any announcement or broadcast of any current events of public interest.
    (c)     No person shall operate, or cause or allow to be operated any engine of any motor vehicle unless the exhaust therefrom shall be so muffled, controlled or insulated that it shall make no noise that will be offensive to any of the inhabitants.
    (d)     No person shall play, use, operate or permit to be played, used or operated a radio receiving set, vehicle radio, musical instrument, phonograph or other machine or device for the production or the reproduction of sound with louder volume than is necessary for convenient hearing of the person so playing, using or operating such instrument or device and such persons who are voluntary listeners thereto, or in such manner as to disturb the peace, quiet and comfort of neighboring inhabitants or the public.  The use or operation of any such instrument, radio, phonograph, machine or device in such a manner as to be plainly audible at a distance of one hundred (100) feet from the building, structure, vehicle or place in which it is used or operated, shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this Article.  Nothing herein contained shall be construed to prohibit playing by a band or orchestra in a hall, building or in the open air.
    (e)     No hawker, peddler or vendor shall shout or cry out his goods, wares and merchandise upon a street or public place between the hours of 6:00 P.M. and 8:00 A.M.
    (f)      No person shall on Sunday and upon any other day of the week between the hours of 6:00 P.M. and 7:00 A.M. operate and use tools or equipment in conducting any excavation, demolition, erection, alteration, repair or other construction within one thousand (1000) feet of any dwelling or business property which shall make any loud or disturbing noise, except in case of urgent necessity in the interest of public safety and then only upon obtaining a permit from the Department of Public Works.
    (g)     Nothing contained herein shall prohibit the construction on Sunday of a house of worship, education facility, library or similar building  by a non-profit religious, educational or other eleemosynary institution, when such construction is performed by members of the institution, without compensation and when such activity is carried on between the hours of 12:00 Noon and 6:00 P.M.
(R.O. 1957, 10:3-1 to 10:3-12, as amended Aug. 3, 1970; MC 1988-14, § 1, amended Sept. 6, 1988.)

Sec. 10:8-4.    Manner of solicitation.

    No person shall solicit the sale of merchandise in a noisy, persistent or offensive manner.  He shall not obstruct the passage of vehicles or pedestrians upon any street, sidewalk or public place.
(R.O. 1957, 6:11-9.)

Sec. 10:8-5.    Parades; permits; regulations.16

16State law reference: As to regulation of processions and parades, see N.J.S.A. 50:67-1.

    (a)     No person shall engage in, participate in, aid, form or start any parade without first obtaining a license as required by Section 9:9-2 of this Code.
    (b)     No person shall engage in, participate in, and form or start any parade in violation of any of the regulations of Section 9:9-11 of this Code.

Sec. 10:8-6.    Riotous or noisy assemblages prohibited.

    No person shall cause or participate in any riotous, turbulent, disorderly or noisy assemblages or gatherings of persons in the streets or other public places.

Sec. 10:8-7.    Operation of sound trucks or public address systems.

    (a)     No person shall operate any noncommercial sound truck or public address system without first obtaining a license if required by Sections 9:12-2 and 9:12-7 of this Code.
    (b)     No person shall operate any noncommercial sound truck or public address system in violation of any of the regulations set forth in Sections 9:12-5 and 9:12-9 of this Code.
    (c)     This Section shall not apply to:
        (1)     Funeral processions; or
        (2)     Such operation by a governmental agency within the scope of its functions.
(R.O. 1957, 10:5-1.)


  1. This should also be made available in Spanish.

  2. Thank you, Bernice. I had to confront a tenant in my building who had speakers on his balcony and was blasting music around 6:30 in the evening. When I tried to explain that he could be heard blocks away, his replay was, "this is my house. I can do what I want." Too many people in homes and apartments think this way and don't care about their neighbors. If he continues we will see what the police have to say. In the summer the blaring cars and now the ice cream vendor trucks still blaring music at 9 p.m. is too much. Thanks again.

  3. u live in a CITY, Bob....

    1. I live in a place where some people need to be reminded that they do not live alone and blasting music at 7 a.m. or until 2 p.m., which this guy likes to do, is not only inconsiderate, but ignorant. Especially when people feel that they need to make as many people as possible hear their noise. Get real. Living in a city is no excuse for ignorance.

  4. It's selective enforcement at best... and the church groups need to be reminded of this when they have their functions as well.