First Amendment

Ticketed for Turning Up the Volume on Justin Timberlake, Lawyer Wins Constitutional Fight


Issued a $73.50 ticket for turning up the volume on Justin Timberlake while driving his 2003 Infiniti, a corporate lawyer in Florida fought the case on constitutional grounds and won.

Yesterday, a state appeals court struck down the Florida law under which Richard Catalano was ticketed, finding that it was not content-neutral because it focused on amplified music from automobiles rather than excessive noise regardless of the source, reports the St. Petersburg Times.

The 2nd District Court of Appeal in Lakeland also agreed with Catalano that the standard for deciding when noise is too loud is too subjective and thus the statute is unconstitutionally vague.

However, another state appellate court reached the opposite conclusion in a similar case, so Catalano’s three-and-a-half-year legal battle likely isn’t over yet. The state supreme court, which is located in Tallahassee, is expected to be asked to resolve the split between the courts of appeal, the newspaper notes.

Catalano, who says he got hate mail from those who liked the ban on loud music, says he has no problem with the state regulating noise. But he does feel strongly about the lack of an objective standard to determine what is and isn’t acceptable.

“I knew the day they gave me the ticket that it was wrong,” he tells the Times. “If they want to go to Tallahassee, I say let’s go.”

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