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Be A Good Neighbor: Noise


Your home is your castle. It is supposed to be your own sanctuary, and safe place. For most people, it may be the place you spend most of your life, whether it‘s eating, sleeping, or entertaining. It’s also important to have a place where you can relax or de-stress. Most of us have neighbors, and for the most part, we all want the same thing. Here is how you can do your part in being a good neighbor.


The police department and our elected officials receive numerous amounts of citizen & constituent complaints regarding noise. They may come in the form of loud parties, loud music, or other sources. There are also misconceptions on what the law is regarding noise. Let's discuss how you can be a good neighbor by reducing or eliminating these complaints. Below is Title 3 of the Baltimore County Code. NOTE: THERE IS NO MENTION OF TIME. THIS APPLIES 24 HOURS A DAY.


TITLE 3. - NOISE


§ 17-3-101. - DEFINITIONS.

(a)In general. In this title the following words have the meanings indicated.

(b)Domestic noise.

(1)"Domestic noise" means noise related to human activity that is not created by machinery, tools, mechanical devices, or equipment used in connection with a business purpose.

(2)"Domestic noise" includes noises produced:

(i)Vocally;(ii)With a radio receiving set, musical instrument, phonograph or any other device intended for the production or reproduction of sound; or

(iii)By a household tool or other equipment

(c)Landlord. "Landlord" means the person who manages, leases, holds, or otherwise controls the property of an owner.

(d)Owner. "Owner" means the person listed on the tax records of the county as the property owner.

(1988 Code, § 20-45) (Bill No. 123-93, § 2, 10-25-1993; Bill No. 114-99, § 3, 7-1-2004; Bill No. 73-03, § 20, 7-1-2004)


§ 17-3-102. - LEGISLATIVE INTENT.

The County Council intends to prohibit excessive domestic noise for the purpose of securing and promoting public health, comfort, convenience, safety, welfare, peace, and quiet in the county.


(1988 Code, § 20-46) (Bill No. 123-93, § 2, 10-25-1993; Bill No. 114-99, § 3, 7-1-2004)


§ 17-3-103. - PROHIBITED.

A person may not create domestic noise or allow domestic noise to be created that unreasonably disturbs the peace, quiet, and comfort of the neighboring inhabitants.


(1988 Code, § 20-47) (Bill No. 123-93, § 2, 10-25-1993; Bill No. 114-99, § 3, 7-1-2004)


§ 17-3-104. - ENFORCEMENT.

A police officer shall:


(1)Investigate complaints of alleged domestic noise violations occurring in the county; and

(2)File a written report if the investigation concludes that a violation of § 17-3-103 of this title has occurred.

(1988 Code, § 20-48) (Bill No. 123-93, § 2, 10-25-1993; Bill No. 114-99, § 3, 7-1-2004)


§ 17-3-105. - PENALTY.

(a)Criminal. A person who violates § 17-3-103 of this title is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to:

(1)A fine not exceeding $500 or imprisonment not exceeding 90 days or both for a first offense; and

(2)A fine of not less than $500 or imprisonment not exceeding 90 days or both for any subsequent offense.

(b)Civil.

(1)(i)As an alternative to a criminal action, the police may issue a civil citation to a person who violates § 17-3-103 of this title.(ii)The amount of the civil penalty may not exceed $500.

(2)The police may request that the county seek an injunction to prohibit the person from creating or allowing the creation of domestic noise.

(1988 Code, § 20-49) (Bill No. 123-93, § 2, 10-25-1993; Bill No. 114-99, § 3, 7-1-2004)


§ 17-3-106. - RESPONSIBILITY OF OWNER OR LANDLORD.

(a)Civil citation to owner or landlord.

(1)A police officer may issue a civil citation to the owner or landlord of the building or premises from which domestic noise in violation of § 17-3-103 of this title emanates if more than three written reports have been filed under § 17-3-104 of this title, at one address, within a 60-day period.

(2)The police may issue additional civil citations for each subsequent report filed within 6 months after the initial report.(b)Notice. Before issuing a citation, the Chief of Police or a designee shall send by certified mail or deliver written notice to the owner or landlord that three written reports have been filed under § 17-3-104 of this title within a 60 day period.(c)Penalty. The amount of the civil penalty may not exceed:(1)$500 for the first citation; and(2)$750 for each additional citation issued within 6 months after the initial written report filed under § 17-3-104 of this title.

(1988 Code, § 20-50) (Bill No. 123-93, § 2, 10-25-1993; Bill No. 114-99, § 3, 7-1-2004)


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