Looks like things are heating up outside the hot tub for Katherine Heigl. Cops were called to Heigl's house in a hot tub dispute between Heigl and her neighbors. TMZ reports that the actress and her husband, musician Josh Kelly, were enjoying some quality time in their outdoor hot tub when a neighbor began "yelling profanities" at the couple for being too loud.
The celebrity couple's security guard called authorities and the noise issue died with the hot tub bubbles. There are, however some interesting legal lessons to be learned here. Mainly, although neighbor disputes are best resolved by communicating directly with the noisy neighbor at first, yelling profanities is not the ideal mode of communication. Why? Because tensions can remain long after the noise (or other neighbor problem) dies down.
What the neighbor should have done was kindly discuss the matter with Heigl and her husband and come to a working solution. When the police get involved, the chance for an amicable resolution usually goes away. There are laws designed to deal with the problem of noisy neighbors, usually offering a couple forms of legal recourse: money damages stemming from the noise, or an injunction to stop the offending noise in the future.
Excessive noise (typically requiring a showing that the noise is also continuous) is usually charged as a criminal misdemeanor. When the cops were called in the Katherine Heigl hot tub dispute, and other situations where the noise is more situational than continuance, police can issue a citation or give a warning. This was a unique scenario because police were called by Heigl and not the neighbor, either way the likelihood of a "no hot tub" injunction is pretty slim.
- Katherine Heigel's Hot Tub vs. Angry Neighbor (Perez Hilton)
- Beyonce Settle With Neighbor Over Noise Complaints (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice)
- How To Deal With A Noisy Neighbor (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)