Virginia Beach Noise Ordinance, Feeney v. Virginia Beach (amicus)

A nightclub in Virginia Beach – one of only 2 or 3 in the Oceanfront area with primarily African-American clientele and ownership – has repeatedly been charged with violations of the local noise ordinance, which prohibits any “unreasonably loud, disturbing and unnecessary noise in the city or any noise of such character, intensity and duration as to be detrimental to the life or health of persons of reasonable sensitivity or to disturb or annoy the quiet, comfort or repose of reasonable persons.” The nightclub filed suit in the Circuit Court of Virginia Beach, claiming that the noise ordinance violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments and was selectively forced. We, along with the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression, filed an amicus brief arguing that the ordinance is unconstitutionally vague. In November 2004, the judge upheld the ordinance, and there has been no appeal.



Rebecca Glenberg, ACLU of Virginia; Josh Wheeler, Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression

Date filed

February 6, 2004


Virginia Beach Circuit Court