When Fun Becomes Dangerous
Everyone likes to have a good time. Everyone enjoys a great party. Yet there are times when a great party becomes a dangerous party. Such out-of-control events are a danger to the health, safety and welfare of all Oxford Citizens.
On February 18, 2003, Oxford City Council adopted Section 509.13 of the Oxford Codified Code, which took effect on March 20, 2003. This is a full reproduction of 509.13 for your information.
In an effort to assist the Oxford Community in understanding what constitutes a Nuisance Party and in an effort to inform the citizenry as to the Oxford Police Department’s policy in addressing such parties, here are some facts you will need to know:
- Complainants must understand that there is a policy in place for officers to follow; requests to shut a party down do not constitute a “nuisance” situation.
- A party that is beyond control, even on the first visit by officers, with multiple violations of law occurring, can be determined to be a nuisance party.
- If officers order partygoers to cease and disperse immediately, everyone must vacate the property immediately or face arrest.
- If you are a renter and receive a citation under the Nuisance Party Ordinance, your property owner will receive a letter of notification from the Oxford Police Department informing them of your violations.
If you have questions about the Nuisance Party Ordinance or the policy of enforcement by the Oxford Police Department, please contact OPD and a supervisor will meet with you and answer your questions.
509.13 Nuisance Party Regulations
(a) Nuisance Party Defined. A social gathering or party which is conducted on premises within the City and which, by reason of the conduct of the persons in attendance, results in any one or more of the following conditions or events occurring at the site of the said party or social gathering, or on neighboring public or private property: disorderly conduct; illegal open container; outdoor urination or defecation in a public place; unlawful sale, furnishing, dispensing or consumption of beer or intoxicating liquor; sale or furnishing of beer or intoxicating liquor to an underage person; possession or consumption of beer or intoxicating liquor by an underage person; illegal use of a controlled substance; public indecency; unlawful deposit of litter or refuse; the damage or destruction of property without the consent of the property owner; unlawful pedestrian or vehicular traffic; standing or parking of vehicles that obstructs the free flow of traffic on the public streets and sidewalks or that impedes the ability to render emergency services; unlawfully loud noise; or any other conduct or condition that threatens injury, inconvenience, or alarm to persons or damage to property which is hereby declared to be an unlawful public nuisance.
(b) Duty to Control Premises. Any person who is an owner, occupant, tenant, or otherwise has rightful possession or possessory control, individually or jointly with others, of any premises, who either sponsors, conducts, hosts, invites, or permits a social gathering or party on said premises which is or becomes a nuisance party, as defined in part (a) of this Section, and which nuisance is either the intentional result of, or within the reasonable expectations of, the person or persons having such possessory control is deemed to be in violation of this Section.
(c) Order to Cease and Disperse. A party or social gathering that is or becomes a nuisance party, as defined in part (a) of this Section, shall cease upon the order of the Police Chief, or the Police Chief’s designee; and all persons not residing therein at the site of such social gathering or party shall leave the premises immediately. Any person who fails or refuses to obey and abide by such an order shall be guilty of a violation of this section.
(d) Penalty. Whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor; for a second offense committed within eighteen (18) months after the commission of the first offense, the person shall be guilty of a fourth degree misdemeanor.
A certified mail/return receipt letter shall be sent to the owner of the property for each violation.