Maryland rooster complaint

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by razoo, Aug 18, 2016.

  1. razoo

    razoo Just Hatched

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    How do you suggest we handle a rooster complaint?

    My 11yo daughter hatched chicks, raised them and they are now outside in a coop. We gave three roosters away, and are left with 4 hens and one roo, all barnyard mix.

    According to our county laws, we are allowed chickens.
    County laws state that lots under 40,000sf cannot have a rooster, and lots over that may have 32 chickens per acre, with nothing specified about roos. We could, theoretically, have over 100 chickens on our 3.5 acres.

    We have only one neighbor, they loves chickens, plan to get some themselves and has no complaints.
    They have only one neighbor on the other side who has commented on the roo, but no complaints.
    They have a neighbor who has lodged a complaint. He has fought with my husband on another issue regrading their dog, took us to court over it, lost, fined and got a severe reprimand from the judge. The county clerk said we should fight the complaint as it is clearly vengeance.

    I am very hesitant about another court hearing.
    My daughter loves Lord Aster, yes they are all named, and wants to keep him.

    His complaint is we are disturbing the peace.
    If we don't pay the fine and get rid of Lord Aster, then we have to go to District Court.

    Any suggestions on how to defend this apart from
    1. the fact we legally may own up to 100 chickens
    2. the distance from our coop to his house is doubtful that the rooster is a disturbance, he can possibly hear the rooster when he is outside, but not in his house.

    I used to love hearing Lord Aster crow, reminding me he is out there taking care of his gals. Now I am stressed and dreading having to go to court.

    Any suggestions on how to handle this?
     
  2. ChickenGoesRuff

    ChickenGoesRuff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just realize that you are allowed your rooster and hens, and that you only have one rooster. If you had 100 chickens, all roosters, maybe he would have a reason to complain. You are in the right. I have had 7 crowing roosters (legally, of course) that would crow loudly outside and even being surrounded by many non-farming neighborhoods, have yet to hear a complaint. I believe that you are not "disturbing the peace", and should keep your rooster. If you really don't want to go to court, I would get a no crow collar (muffles the sound harmlessly) to *be the better person* and show that you don't want to cause problems, and to prove you tried to remedy it. If you do have to go to court, I believe you are in the right and shouldn't have to deal with someone just trying to get vengeance. Best of luck to you and Lord Aster!
     
  3. razoo

    razoo Just Hatched

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    Thanks. Even before he had complained, I had ordered a no crow collar. It is due to arrive on Saturday.
    He has already filed his complaint. If I don't pay the fine (admission of guilt) then we go to court.
    So you seem to be saying that simply stating that we are legally allowed a rooster is sufficient defense?
    What about his claim that the rooster is "disturbing the peace"?
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Were you given a citation?
    What does it say...is the violation about the number and gender of birds or is it a noise ordinance violation?
     
  5. daddyman

    daddyman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Someone had to write the complaint. What agency, and, as above, what is the charge?
     
  6. razoo

    razoo Just Hatched

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    Yes, a citation.
    Filed with our county Animal Control.
    The standard form has various options and he checked the box for animal 'Disturbing the peace'
    And the animal listed is one rooster residing at our property.
     
  7. daddyman

    daddyman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Which county?
    You might also wish to see what the specific code states with regards to a definition of "disturbing the peace."
    Is it during certain hours? A specific volume, and if so, how was this measured? Device used? Or subjective according to what specific criteria?
     
  8. razoo

    razoo Just Hatched

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    Aug 17, 2016
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Thanks...that stinks.
    Best of cLuck (or cockadoodledoo)
     
  10. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    Agree with above poster. I would not give up my roo, simply b/c this one neighbor complains. Unless he can prove that the bird makes noise above the limits set by your zoning board, and before the time of the morning allowed by your zoning board, he does not have legal standing. Does his dog ever bark? do you ever hear it? If you do not hear his dog, chances are he does not hear your rooster. Is your roo cooped until a reasonable hour in the morning? Do your homework to be sure you are in the right, and then file a counter claim for him to pick up your expenses. How far away, in feet is his house from your coop???

    Article 12 may be an issue. Again, you need clarification. A lawn mower next door most likely makes more noise than your roo from so far away. That law is so ambiguous that it borders on the ridiculous.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016

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