LEGAL CORNER: How to deal with noisy neighbors

LEGAL CORNER: How to deal with noisy neighbors

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QUESTION: "I live in an apartment building. The tenants above me are so noisy and annoying that I've called the cops on them before. Once the police came, they kept telling me that they couldn't find where the noise was coming from, even though I clearly explained that it was from the apartment a floor above me. I've talked to the owner of the apartments, but he will not do anything. What can I do?"

ANSWER: Generally, the Landlord is obligated to provide the tenant with "peace full possession." While this usually is a reference to real estate possession rights, it can also mean a reasonable expectation of not being disturbed by neighbors over which the Landlord has control. The first thing to do is to read the lease. Most leases have provisions about noise disturbances and procedures to follow about making complaints with Landlords. If the lease is silent, and if the problem continues, and if the Landlord continues to do nothing about it, then the tenants ultimate remedy is to claim that the Landlord has violated the lease and sue the landlord either to enforce the lease or to dissolve the lease and move out. The Law Center strongly suggests that the tenant seek a face to face meeting with the Landlord before taking any drastic measures.

QUESTION: "Why does the city over look open container laws during special events, Mardi Gras, Contraband Days, etc?"

ANSWER: The simple answer is: because it can.

First, there is no state-wide law the prohibits drinking in public. All state laws dealing with opener containers pertain to vehicles. However, city and parish codes may, and frequently do, prohibit drinking in public.

The Pertinent Sections of the Lake Charles City Code appear below:

Sec. 3-7. - Open alcoholic beverage containers.

QUESTION: "What are the consequences of being in contempt of court?"

ANSWER: There are two types of contempt, criminal and civil. Criminal Contempt is generally disruptive behavior and disrespect during actual court proceedings. The more common type of contempt is civil contempt which is disobeying a court's civil orders. Common examples are violations of restraining orders, failure to pay child support, or failure to pay restitution etc. Usually, courts impose penalties like fines, attorney fees or jail time as a consequence of refusing to follow a court's order. Louisiana Revised Statute E13 : 4611 expressly spells out contempt consequences as follows:

Except as otherwise provided for by law:

Disclaimer: The information furnished in this answer is general and may not apply to some situations. All legal situations are unique. No one should rely to their detriment on these answers. Anyone with a potential legal problem should seek the advice of a licensed attorney before taking any action or inaction. The answers provided are not intended to be specific legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is created between the SWLA Law Center and the viewers of KPLC-TV.

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