Commonwealth v. Scott, 878 A.2d 874, 878-79, 2005 PA Super 224, ¶ ¶ 11,13 (Pa.Super., 2005)

Commonwealth v. Scott, 878 A.2d 874, 878-79, 2005 PA Super 224, ¶ ¶ 11,13 (Pa.Super.,2005).

IMPORTANT CASE: Establishes plainly-audible at distance standard as constitutionally sound in Pennsylvania. [Slip ¶¶10-13] “ The distance standard provides an explicit guideline to those charged with enforcing the [noise] ordinance. If a law enforcement officer can hear sounds … at the proscribed distance, the ordinance has been violated.” [Slip ¶10] See ¶ 11 for citations to other states with plainly-audible standards.

Scott also quashes claims of “over-breadth” with plainly-audible noise ordinances related to First Amendment activity. “It is well-established, however, that a governmental entity may impose, even in public forums, reasonable time, place and manner restrictions on protected speech…. To be reasonable, the restrictions on protected speech must be content neutral, narrowly tailored to serve a significant governmental interest, and leave open ample alternative channels for communication of the information.” [Slip ¶ 14] See also Ward v. Rock Against Racism, 491 U.S. 781, 790 (1989)(governments may limit First Amendment activity even in public fora on time, place, and manner).