Commonwealth v. McConnell (Super., Dec. 30, 2020)

Commonwealth v. McConnell 2020 PA Super 300 (Super., Dec. 30, 2020).

Disorderly conduct, neighbor dispute

While technically not addressing noise, the case may apply to retaliatory noise situations and spurious claims of First Amendment activity to excuse noise violations. McConnell reminds that even First Amendment activity must be exercised in a reasonable manner and the analysis focuses on the disturbance from the noise, not the content of the noise. [Slip 14-16]. Notably, disorderly conduct may arise when a party creates a “physically offensive condition” which includes “…direct assaults on the physical senses of members of the public.” [Slip 6]. “[A] defendant can create a physically offensive condition if she invades the
physical privacy of another in an extreme manner….” [Slip 7].