Judge: Honking isn't free speech

June 10, 2009 8:51:45 AM PDT
Being honked off doesn't give you a right to honk on, a judge told a woman who vented at a neighbor by leaning on her car horn at 6 a.m. Helen Immelt of Monroe, Wash., expressed her anger in 2006 because the neighbor had complained to their homeowners association about her having chickens against the association's rules.

She parked in front of his house at 5:50 a.m. the next day and leaned on her horn for 10 minutes straight. He called the police, but she repeated the honking two hours later.

Immelt was cited for a noise violation but appealed on free-speech grounds.

Judge Richard J. Thorpe ruled Monday that "Horn honking which is done to annoy or harass others is not speech."


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