FAIRFIELD — Jurors who sat through a five-day trial for a man charged with disturbing the peace because of his noisy roosters deadlocked Friday and another five-day trial has been scheduled for January.
Neighbors of a ranch owner a few miles east of Elmira did not like the early morning crowing of dozens of roosters on the ranch. They complained and in 2011 the Solano County District Attorney’s Office charged the ranch owner, Neftali Rivera, with disturbing the peace and creating a nuisance.
The filing of the criminal charges coincided with passage of an ordinance that bars county residents from having more than four roosters on their property without a special exemption. Rivera responded by hiring a trio of criminal defense attorneys. They offered up no defense case at the trial.
Jurors deadlocked 11-1 for guilt. Judge Alesia Jones scheduled the second trial to begin Jan. 22.
Rivera and his son previously sued the county in 2011, claiming the rooster law was unconstitutional. The lawsuit was thrown out.
The Riveras sued the county a second time in April, seeking $5 million and claiming the fowl at their Clark Road ranch should be exempt from the chicken ban. Judge D. Scott Daniels is scheduled to hear the lawsuit in January.
Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.