Last updated: July 24. 2013 2:41PM - 399 Views

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Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

A group of citizens has filed a motion for preliminary injunction against the operators of the Columbia Music Arena, charging excessive noise and for having acts that perform “defamatory, obscene, and otherwise obnoxious lyrics.”

The action was filed on March 22 in Scioto County Common Pleas Court by Portsmouth attorney Stephen C. Rodeheffer on behalf of the following citizens: Terry Ockerman; TLO Holdings, LLL; Sharma Brown d.b.a. Head Quarters Styling Place; Port City Partners; Port City Pub, LLC; Judy Jackson and Michael Fitch.

Named defendants are Christine Scott; Sunshine Superman Project, LLC c/o James Kalb, statutory agent and Scott’s Columbia Music Arena, LLC c/o Christine Scott, statutory agent.

The plaintiffs in the case say they are, “enjoining the defendants, their employees, agents, or others within the defendants’ control, from creating, causing or permitting noise at, around or in 832 Gallia Street, Portsmouth, Ohio, in excess of the normal, ambient level of noise for the neighborhood, and from permitting performances that include vulgar and obscene language.”

As a part of the action, the complaint reads in part, “Indeed, the plaintiffs will show that on occasion the sound from the performances raise the decibel level of the sound outside the building by over 500 times the normal decibel levels, that the sound causes windows as far away as two city blocks to vibrate, and that this noise is interfering with the right of the surrounding property owners and residents to enjoy their property free of loud and unwanted noises.”

It goes on to say, “The volume of the noise is only part of the problem created by the defendants’ activities. Many of the performers perform songs that contain defamatory, obscene, and otherwise obnoxious lyrics that are offensive to the sensibilities of a normal individual. And on occasion these lyrics are being broadcast during hours when there are small children coming to and from a local dance studio and other family oriented businesses.”

The court document says the issuance of injunctive relief is an equitable remedy that is issued in the discretion of the trial court.

The issue came up last year when several citizens began to complain that the music emanating from the Columbia was too loud. That evolved into a proposed new noise ordinance currently being discussed by City Council. The new ordinance lists decibel levels as a part of the wording.

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.

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