Tuesday, June 17, 2014
05/30/14 TRAETTO VS. PALAZZO A-6107-12T1
05/30/14 TRAETTO VS. PALAZZO
In this appeal, we address the issue of whether the trial court should have decided plaintiff's nuisance suit on summary judgment. Plaintiff sued her neighbors seeking to enjoin their son from playing drums in their detached garage. Although plaintiff alleged that the drum playing occurred "at various lengthy periods at intermittent hours, both day and night" and prevented her from "obtain[ing] a routine of nighttime sleep," defendants alleged that they did not permit their son to play the drums past 7:00 p.m. Because of this material factual dispute, we held that summary judgment was inappropriate.
We also held that the fact that defendants were found to have not violated the municipal noise ordinance did not obviate the need for the court to consider whether "the character, volume, frequency, duration, time, and locality of" the noise caused by the drum-playing "unreasonably interfered" with plaintiff's "health or comfort." Finally, we held that the court should have granted plaintiff's request to inspect the garage where the drums were kept to determine their size and configuration, whether any sound amplification equipment was being used, and whether reasonable steps could be taken to muffle the drums or soundproof the garage.