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Barking dogs win as noise law is invalidated

A Court of Appeals panel has overturned Warren County’s barking dog law as unconstitutional, but one judge argues for a more lenient approach to local noise ordinances.

The Warren County noise ordinance was overly vague under the standard established in a 2009 Supreme Court of Virginia opinion overturning a Virginia Beach noise law, the three-judge panel found in Souter v. County of Warren, an unpublished opinion released Tuesday.

The two-part ordinance prohibited “unreasonably loud or disturbing sound,” words the court found were too subjective to be enforceable under the Virginia Beach decision.

Judge Rossie Alston wrote a concurring opinion suggesting the two parts of the noise law should be read together to meet constitutional muster, but agreed the Virginia Beach case mandated a stricter interpretation.

By Peter Vieth

2 comments

  1. What a backward Judiciary. Noise by OSHA standards make the dog barking a health hazard to humans. Once your state gets a penalty by way of jury verdict against it perhaps you will than be enlightened. Dog barking is noise that is not appreciated by a majority of humans. Humans are more important than a animal that eats it’s own feces.

  2. How stupid. Noise is noide, if the crime was commited, then the punishment must be dealt. To the dog worshipping government, Grow the #### UP!

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