What is the Curfew for Alameda Residences?

Issues between neighbors and houses

My neighbor has given my family a curfew: No footsteps or any sound of any sort should be heard by him since he is trying to sleep at 9:30 p.m. And we must keep it quiet on the morning since it is too early to wake him up at 7:45 a.m.

There is more: we are supposed to all walk in the dark, since light will shine into his bedroom window and he can't sleep with the sensor light that is on when we walk by...We got yelled at many times with outbursts of profanity day or night.

Tonight, it got out of hand a little bit, the police came and one of the police told us to give in and stop walking the sideway from the curfewed side of the house, we should start using the other sideway which there is another house, and what if that neighbor gives us another curfew...?

Any information and suggestion are needed and welcomed. 

I don't like to have this neighbor shout out profanity around my 8-year-old and 4-year-old children every time when we walk our side of the sideway anymore.

Please help!

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Tom Schweich November 09, 2012 at 08:29 PM
1. Never coddle a malcontent. 2. The advice to make sure your sensor does not shine directly in your neighbor's window is good. Closing your blinds at night when your inside lights are turned on would be a good neighbor. Having to walk around the other side of your house so you don't disturb your neighbor is a little over the top. 3. If it's a short term issue, something like your neighbor just got out of the hospital, then try to help them out. If it's long term, then your neighbor is too sensitive / ill / disturbed to live in your neighborhood the way it is, and they have to make adjustments, install heavy draperies, double-paned windows, etc., or move away. 4. Shouting anything at your children, especially profanity, is totally unacceptable. Call the police. 5. The police were probably hoping that your family could make a simple change and the problem would go away. After multiple calls to the same address, they'll begin to get the picture. 6. Keep a written record of when you or your children get yelled at, when it happened, what was said, etc. 7. If your neighbor says anything that even sounds like a threat, take one breath, call the police, and file for a temporary restraining order (http://www.alameda.courts.ca.gov/pages.aspx/Family-Law-How-to-fill-out-and-file-the-restraining-order-forms).
Heather November 09, 2012 at 09:10 PM
Be the good neighbor. Purchase the following, wrap them nicely & give it to him as a gift: 1 - Earplugs (ones used at car race tracks/gun ranges would be good) 2 - A black out mask (as tempting as it will be to buy a mask with "Diva" in glittery pink lettering -- don't) 3 - A gift card to Bed, Bath & Beyond so he can purchase black out drapes/or buy the drapes for him (in a color that matches his room, if at all possible) 4 - An apology card in which you nicely say sorry for distrubing you; hope our gift helps; etc. It's ENTIRELY true that you shouldn't have to do any of this, as he's the one with the problem. Sadly, he's clearly not man enough to take steps to help himself solve his own problem without bullying & harassing you & your family. At this point, you should take the high road, & let him live in his childish world. If you think he'll refuse your gifts, you can always mail them. Final point, keep your receipts from these purchases (& mailing) so should the need arise, there's no doubt who made an effort to resolve the issue, & who just threw hissy fits.
Jeff Mark November 11, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Having recently been the subject — albeit indirect — of similar abuse (http://alameda.patch.com/blog_posts/we-have-a-neighborhood-bully), my view would be to take Heather's *and* Tom Schweich's advice at the same time. Your neighbor's demands (at least as you describe them) were unreasonable at the beginning, and if he were not open to compromise, I think refusal would have been justified on your part. If he's still not open to reasonable negotiation, I think refusal remains justified. As 510gal implies, you have rights too, just as much as he does, and they protect your use of your property as you see fit — like which door you use. Verbal abuse, towards your children *or you*, is unacceptable and I think your immediate solicitation of legal advice concerning that would be appropriate — as would repeated police reports.
Jeff Mark November 11, 2012 at 10:24 PM
By the way, to answer your actual question, while there are ordinances restricting the use of things like lawnmowers and large power tools after certain hours, that varies from town to town and type of noise; for Alameda, they're generally 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM (AMC Sec. 4-10.4) But a formal, codified "noise curfew" in residential neighborhoods? I don't think there are any anywhere in California. Police will respond to complaints about late, excess noise, of course, but I don't see a "no noise after 10:00" ordinance or anything like that in the Alameda Municipal Code. http://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientId=16753&stateId=5&stateName=California Chapter IV, Article II, Section 4-10, "Noise Control".
hobnob November 12, 2012 at 06:11 PM
I agree with everyone above. Do not coddle this neighbour, but do try and accomodate and do as Heather suggested, by buying him ear plugs, an sleeping patch, and maybe a small gift certificate to buy blinds. Do apologize to him in a card, but do send him a copy of the noise ordinance that it's frum 7am to 10pm and you will not tollerate him yelling profanities at your 4 and 8 year old children. Call the police the next time he does this and you've done all those things, sometimes a bully needs to be brought down with the law. Otherwise, he'll just stay a bully. As to it being totally quiet from 9:30pm - 7:45am, that's almost unreasonable. Even the garbage trucks come earlier than 7:45am.


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