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Noisy Parties

Procedures for reporting a loud party:

  • In the event of a loud party that is disturbing the peace, call 311 or 277-8900. Include the location (address, if known) of the party.
  • Provide dispatchers with as much information about the party as possible, including:
    1. Number of participants
    2. Dangerous conditions present
    3. Any crimes, in addition to disturbing the peace, that may be occurring
    4. Additional information as requested by the dispatcher.
  • It is helpful to provide your name, address, and telephone number as a complainant, however, you can remain anonymous when reporting a loud party.
    • Persons wishing to remain anonymous or that are not available for contact will be advised that an officer will not respond but their call will be logged. A patrol supervisor may review these calls and may determine that a call should be reopened and an officer dispatched.
    • If a person agrees to be contacted either in person or via telephone, the event will be dispatched based on available resources. In instances where a person requests contact and an officer is not dispatched, the patrol supervisor will contact the person requesting contact and advise them that there will not be a police response.

The most common response to a loud party by the police is to attempt to have the responsible person gain control over their party and reduce the noise. The goal is to restore order without having to take law enforcement action, i.e. citation or arrest. However, certain situations dictate that immediate action must be taken to deal with additional violations of the law or to avoid return calls in the future.

Officers responding to parties that they feel may result in a return call will fill out a  Disturbance Violation Report and provide a copy to the responsible party. This report notifies the person responsible for the party that a return call regarding a disturbance at the location within twelve hours can result in prosecution and liability for the cost of the response.

The San Jose Municipal Codes explains disturbing the peace and disturbing noises as follows:

10.16.010  Disturbing the peace prohibited.
No person shall disturb the peace, quiet and comfort of any neighborhood by creating therein any disturbing or unreasonably loud noise.
(Prior code § 4231; Ord. 24198.)

10.16.020  Disturbing noises designated.

  1. It is the intent of this chapter to prohibit all noises which are disturbing or unreasonably loud. The types of noises set out in subsection B. shall not be deemed or construed as in any way exclusive, but merely illustrative.
  2. The following types of noises are declared to be disturbing to the peace, quiet and comfort of the neighborhood in which they are heard, and persons creating such noises are in violation of Section 10.16.010:
    1. The sounding of any horn, signal or noise device on any automobile, motorcycle, bus, truck or other vehicle, in any other manner or for any other purpose than allowed by the California Vehicle Code or other laws of the state;
    2. The noise from an exhaust system of any vehicle which is not equipped or constructed so as to prevent any disturbing or unreasonably loud noise;
    3. The revving of the engine of any motor vehicle while such vehicle is not in motion, except when done in the course of repairing, adjusting or testing it;
    4. Disturbing or unreasonably loud shouting or crying of peddlers, hawkers, vendors or newspaper carriers;
    5. The playing or operating of any radio, phonograph, orchestra or other musical device or instrument in a manner that is disturbing or unreasonably loud to a reasonable person outside the facility or unit from which the noise emanates; and
    6. Disturbing or unreasonably loud shouting, screaming, wailing or other vocalization that is disturbing or unreasonably loud to a reasonable person outside the facility or unit from which the noise emanates.

    (Prior code § 4232; Ord. 24198.)

Do not hesitate to call 911 in the event that a party is getting out of hand and there is imminent danger to life or property.


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