Man punished for playing loud music overturns Florida's loud music ban

Loud music illustration 
By: Anika Rao 

After a Florida attorney was pulled over and punished for playing loud music, he filed a lawsuit against the state's noise ordinance in court.

In a unanimous decision this week, the court overturned a law regulating noise from car stereos in a case led by a lawyer from St. Petersburg, who was punished for blasting a song by Justin Timberlake in his car.

The lawyer, Richard Catalano, 51, challenged the punishment and the courts repeatedly sided with him, but the state remained defiant by filing appeals.

The final statement came on Thursday, with the Supreme Court ruling that the law is unconstitutional because it prohibits certain forms of expression while allowing others.

"I'm very happy with it," Catalano, who spent thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours fighting the case, said. "I think it was worth it," he added.

Catalano was joined in the case with Alexander Schermerhorn, a New Port Richey man who was also issued a citation under the same law. The legal battle was followed closely by local governments throughout the state as the court's decision could force officials to rewrite the local bylaws regarding noise.



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