To get thrown in jail because you laughed too loud in your own home sounds, well, laughable. But that's reportedly what happened to Robert Schiavelli, who was issued two tickets for laughing too loud out his window and disturbing his neighbor. Cops responded to the scene and determined that, indeed, Robert's chortling was disturbing -- hence the summons, which could get him a $500 fine and up to 30 days in jail. Robert doesn't think it's a laughing matter. But when you hear the details -- it's not so funny.
Robert and his neighbor, Daniel O'Hanian, have apparently had a long-standing feud, which Robert claims stems from his neighbor doing some unneighborly-like things, such as calling Robert, who suffers from seizures and neurological impairments, a "retard" and making fun of him.
So according to Robert, his defense is to laugh off his neighbor's taunts. And apparently he does this so loudly that his neighbor complained.
Police gave out tickets for "disturbing the peace" on two occasions because Robert's guffawing could be heard across the driveway and in his neighbor's home. When asked about the complaint, O'Hanian's wife says, "The police investigated and found there was cause. I think the police can answer all your questions. I think the police did what they thought was best."
I tend to agree with the neighbor. I don't know what the source of their feud is, and if O'Hanian, who wouldn't respond, really is being a terrible neighbor and making fun of Robert, but I do know cops don't normally issue a noise summons -- let alone two of them -- without hearing a lot of noise. There's "laughing off your neighbor" and then there's "laughing to annoy your neighbor," and I suspect that's what Robert was doing.
Just because you are in your own home doesn't mean you can do whatever you want and disturb the peace in whatever way you want. We all have to live on the same planet, you know.
I'd also suggest these guys have a good laugh together and settle their differences -- I've read about too many neighborly arguments that end up in tragedy, not comedy.
Have you ever complained about a noisy neighbor?
Image via Stewart Black/Flickr