Bourbon Street - Issues

Issues

Historically noise violations were the responsibility of the party making the noise. This changed in 1996 with "Yokum v. 615 Bourbon Street." The case ruled that the property owner, not the noise-maker is responsible for noise violations. A 2010 city ordinance stipulates that no music may be played in the French Quarter between 8PM and 9 AM. Enforcement has been inconsistent and critics claim its goals are vague. Some even state that is unconstitutional. Besides being difficult to enforce, music aficionados claim that noise ordinances threaten the city's music culture. Local jazz bands, such as the To Be Continued Brass Band, who play in the streets would be prohibited from doing so under such ordinances.

Aggressive solicitation bans are a newer issue on Bourbon Street. In 2011, an ordinance was passed that banned individuals and groups from "disseminating any social, political or religious message" at night. The ordinance does not explain the justification for this ban. On September 21, 2012, the ACLU of Louisiana won a temporary restraining order against the ban on behalf of Kelsey McCauley, a woman who converted to Christianity through a religious group's activities on Bourbon Street which had several of its members arrested, and some of which were cited, on September 14, 2012 for violating the ordinance. A hearing is set for October 1, 2012.

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