T he music gets loude
house party on Tap
singing the Dave
songs on the stereo.
The crowd appears hap
dance and sing a scene
But these parties also ar
police departments, who
that the noise and partyin
Police confronted LS
Keiffer last week while s
party at her home on Tap
Although she was not
gave her a verbal warnin
"They told me to shut
turn down the music," K(
said that if they had to co
"W en a citizen rce
complains We' I left
take action." neig
- Lt. David Lovell cyci
Ann Arbor Police Department neig
were standing outside so
been what caused some o
"I think it was fair to give
I don't think it would have
just give a fine without a w
Tracy Solow, an LSA j
lucky last year when polic
at a party in her apartmer
Forum Apartment res
ered in her room on a Fri
The noise grew louder,
the police and the party a
"The cop came and sa
Solow said. "It's ridicul
cause people in college w
It shouldn't cost $100 to
Ann Arbor Police De
Alicia Green said the majo
plaints occur in Septembe
"That's when we have
parties," she said. "We hav
regular patrol just to handl
She attributed the Fric
parties to the football seas
Out of Control? ties
Police in Ann Arbor do not thei
have strict rules for In
assessing noise violations ersi
but they do have several guidelines. lati
Absence of a sober, responsible person vers
for the party at the site
Music is projected outside the dwelling yeai
or a band is performing without a I
" permit .mon
Lack of cooperation by persons side
responsible on the premises vio
Open fighting the
Disorderly persons outside of the party coo
Open kegs and other accessible alcohol exan
to anyone in the'area
Streets blocked by partygoers or their sch
gets warmer and people a
Green added that an ex
officers work on Saturday
to keep the parties contro
"It's a big problem," Gr
dealing with parties som
than 200 people. It takes
c.,tt ti- Arrinn wxhn
The Michigan Daily - Friday. October 6, 1995 - 3
r as students at a
pan Street begin
'py as they drink,
familiar to many
e familiar to local
work to ensure
g are controlled.
A junior Abbey
he was hosting a
fined, the officer
the windows and
eiffer said. "They
me back, I would
e to go to court."
he police officer
rded her driver's
nse number and
with two other of-
rs patrolling the
;hborhood on bi-
1 think one of our
ffer said. "People
that could have
f the noise.
me a warning, but
e been been fair to
arning," she said.
unior, was not as
e officers arrived
idents had gath-
a neighbor called
iid it was $100,"
ous - $100 be-
ere having a party.
have a party on a
rity of noise com-
r and October.
the largest house
e to suplement our
e these parties."
lay and Saturday
son. She also said
e are more par-
in the fall because
r return to school.
n September, offic-
ssued 37 noise vio-
rn tickets to Uni-
ity students; last
r there were 36.
n the winter
nths there are con-
ler and students
in preparing for
ms, Green said.
At the end of the
ool year, we usu-
have an in-
ase," she said. "It
xtra four to eight
y nights in the fall
een said. "We are
etimes with more
a lot of officers to
it ;src imiprv, "
A noise violation by a private tenant
or individual is a misdemeanor - a
criminal charge. It is a violation of
Chapter 119 of the City Code: sec.
9:362, which considers it "unlawful to
Fraternities, however, are treated
differently. This year, the entire
fraternity is cited with the violation,
instead of individual members or
officers. It is a civil infraction of City
Code: sec. 9:369.
Both of the violations would receive
the same penalty, which is handled in
15th District Court and prosecuted by
the City Attorney's Office.
Party is given the opportunity to enter
the "Fist Offender Program," which
allows the ticket to be dismissed if the
party pays $100.
Guilty plea bas a $25 fine and stays on
a person's record.
If the person pleads innocent, but is
found guilty at a trial, the fines range
from $50 to $500.
Fine of $100 to $500.
Third and Subsequent Offenses
Fines range from $200 to $500.
In each situation, the guilty party can
spend up to 90 days in jail. Also, court
costs and community service can be
assessed by the presiding judge.
The violations are cumulative within
a two-year period.
However, when the police are attempting
to control one party, and there appears to be
another or even several in the area, they
often check other parties.
"The officers certainly have the discre-
tion to step in and stop it," Lovell said.
Police department officials said there is
no strict rule to determine when a party is
out of control or when a noise violation
should be cited.
While they do have wide latitude, there
are general guidelines the police follow.
Lovell said police look for a responsible
person watching over the party. They also
look for music being projected outside a
house or a band performing without a permit
when considering whether to issue a ticket.
Any fighting or open alcohol also can
lead to a violation, he said.
Lovell said that the police generally en-
force these guidelines and issue noise vio-
lations in a non-discriminatory manner.
Not all police requests to end a party
result in action from the party's host. When
the host doesn't act, police do.
"If people refuse to respond to the officer
at the door, they then have no choice and
have to obtain a search warrant and enter
the premises," Lovell said.
The police are not allowed to enter a
house without a search warrant.
"We have a search warrant available to
us that can be issued very quickly by the
district court judge," Lovell said.
Warrants can be obtained 24 hours a day,
he said. by faxing a warrant to a iudge. The
parties that spill
outside are prime
targets for noise
The Ann Arbor Police Department assigns four to eight extra officers to patrol the
campus on Saturday nights during the fall season.
The AAPD attributes the large number of September parties to the football season,
warm weather and the return of students.
The AAPD recorded 37 noise violations in September 1995 and 36 in September 1994.
Police are not allowed to enter a house without a search warrant.
there is some resistance."
In the courts
Within two weeks of receiving a noise
violation, the accused must appear in Ann
Arbor's 15th District Court for an arraign-
At this proceeding, the accused can plead
either innocent or guilty. If the accused
does not appear, a pretrial date is set and
attorney representation is recommended,
said Sandy Castle, deputy court clerk of the
15th District Court.
If the person pleads guilty, which is usu-
ally the case, Castle said, then the magis-
trate assesses fines, ranging from $25 to
$500. The magistrate also can assess com-
munity service and up to 90 days in jail.
Castle said the magistrate makes his de-
cisions based on whether the person coop-
erated with police officers and their history
of noise violations.
If the person pleads innocent, then the
case proceeds to trial. "About a quarter of
these noise violations go to trial," said Su-
san Cameron, an assistant to the Ann Arbor
city attorney whose office prosecutes these
tunes of offenses
large, crowded open parties.
The Tau Epsilon Phi fraternity on Hill
Street drew a large crowd at its party held
the Sunday night before classes started.
Jordan Milner, the fraternity's treasurer,
said the police arrived around 12:30 a.m.
"A police car pulled up and they asked to
speak to an officer (of the fraternity). I was
the closest one," he said. "They said they
were ticketing us. They said they had gotten
a complaint for noise and were told to ticket
any parties with excessive noise immedi-
ately, without any warnings."
The disc jockey stopped playing music
and all the partiers had to leave.
Milner then represented the fraternity at
court the following Friday morning, where
he received a $100 fine.
"They said the next time the fine would
be more and the fraternity would have to do
Milner said he thinks one ofhis neighbor' s
called the police.
"We have taken efforts since then to let our
neighbors know when we are having a party
and if they have problems, to come to us first."
Tom Holden, Interfraternity Council vice
nresident for social affairs, said fraternities
Many first-year students anxiously await
their arrival on campus with visions of
parties prominent in their minds.
But students who plan to party in the
dorms must be careful. They can be cited'
for noise violations, a civil offense. .1
"We have general ordinances that arO.
m iscellaneous city ordinances for variousvi l to s " ad De r m nt f Pu ic
Safety Lt. Joe Piersante.
Noise violations, a civil infraction, ares
punishable by up to a $50 fine.
LSA junior Dan Braga, a resident ad-
viser, said that while students are generally
accomnodating when RAs request them to
quiet down, they are not always aware that
they are creating a disturbance.
"The biggest challenge seems to be mak-
ing residents conscious of how easily noise..
can travel and disturb people who are trying,
to sleep or study," he said.
Punita Dani, a Business senior and RA,"
said, "There's a wide variety of tolerance:
levels within the dorm and people don't
take into account how their individual ac-
tions may affect their neighbors."