Public-nuisance laws vary widely among states, cities and counties. They deal with everything from overgrown vegetation to public intoxication, but typically with any substantial and unreasonable interference with a public right, such as health, safety or peace.
The problem: The standards can be vague and are vulnerable to stretching by plaintiffs’ lawyers.
Say you own a machine shop. You could be sued for making too much noise even though you’re within legal limits. Similarly, a restaurant could be handed a public-nuisance complaint if patrons dining in outdoor seating grow too loud and bother the neighbors, or if crumbs left unswept draw insects.
Bottom line: Be aware that nuisance laws could essentially be applied to practically anything anybody finds undesirable.
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