Questionable local ordinance of the moment

As the Fayetteville Observer reports, Fayetteville is considering a ordinance imposing a reporting requirement of a sort for “house parties”:

Last week, the council gave preliminary approval to the latest version, which would impose a $500 civil penalty to the tenant if police respond to a second disturbance call at a house party within a 12-hour period. The city would then notify the owner of the house that the tenant was fined.

If residents register with police before a party, they would not be subject to the fine under the ordinance.

The threshold of a house party, according to the ordinance, is eight or more people over the age of 12.

OK, I understand the motivations behind the proposal, but this raises a number of serious questions. Among the most obvious is if you register a house party because you and your spouse will have three other couples over, does that mean that a cop car shows up and sits in front of your house all night? Or that a license check point just happens to appear that night down the street? Or does the cops paying particular attention only apply if you live in certain parts of town?

Michael Lowrey

Michael Lowrey is a contributor to Carolina Journal and a policy analyst for the John Locke Foundation. Lowrey has written numerous articles for the foundation on topics su...

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