A professional couple in their 30s moves into a condo in an affluent Chicago suburb. They are excited to start the next chapter of their lives together and look forward to starting a family. A couple invited some of their friends from their running club to dinner. Eventually, they started hosting twice-monthly dinners on their outside terrace. The couples enjoy playing light music on their Alexa outside, laughing, and playing card games until around 9:30 to 10:00 p.m., when everyone starts to leave.
They are shocked to learn that their elderly neighbor, to whom they have only spoken a few times, has tried to get them charged with disorderly conduct for enjoying their patio. When they approach the neighbor, he starts screaming at them about their late-night partying and making threats. He begins yelling at them more and more, making it difficult to enjoy their home peacefully.
Fighting Disorderly Conduct Charges in Illinois
Illinois disorderly conduct law prohibits a person from engaging in conduct that alarms or disturbs others or disturbing the peace. Someone might disrupt the peace by arguing or yelling in a public place. Acts that unnecessarily cause public fear, stress, or waste public resources can also be considered disorderly conduct. Disorderly conduct can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances. Many disputes between neighbors do not rise to the level of disorderly conduct.
It would be very difficult for prosecutors to bring disorderly conduct charges against the couple in the case mentioned above. It is possible that they could be fined for noise violations. Still, since they stopped playing music at a reasonable time and their activity would not be considered disturbing to a reasonable person, it is unlikely they would be fined.
Defenses Against Disorderly Conduct Charges
Our homes are our personal sanctuaries, the place where we can relax and enjoy ourselves after work. Having a nosey neighbor who constantly tries to get you in trouble for enjoying your backyard can be extremely frustrating. Neighbor harassment can be far too common when living in an apartment complex or condo building. In the case mentioned above, it would be wise for the couple to discuss their situation with an attorney, but you should never have to listen to someone make threats or yell at you. If their neighbor appears to be emotionally unhinged and unable to discuss the situation reasonably, they may need to seek a protective order. The elderly neighbor could also face misdemeanor charges for falsely reporting a disorderly conduct case, a charge which typically carries a six-month prison sentence.
Discuss Your Case With an Attorney
Dealing with a neighbor who harasses or falsely reports you is frustrating, but having an experienced attorney on your side can help. When you need an attorney, experience matters. The skilled attorneys at Glasgow & Olsson will help you understand your legal options and represent you as you pursue peace and quiet. Contact our Schaumburg law firm today to learn more about how we can advocate for you.