Jurors deadlock 11-1 in rooster noise trial

By From page A4 | December 08, 2012

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 [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.

Discussion | 2 comments

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  • Rich GiddensDecember 08, 2012 - 12:41 pm

    The DA's credibility is on the line with this rooster case. Others like me have in the past complained about neighborhood nuisances like party houses and auto repair / auto spray paint businesses being operated out of rental homes. In those cases, nothing was done except blame the complainers! This is different--affluent residents complaining about adjacent poultry production. Its no wonder that there is a dissenter on that jury who wisely saw that the DA is engaged in a crime himself--a malicious prosecution because his cop pals with all the money in the world cant seemingly resolve minor problems.

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  • Jim DemoruelleDecember 09, 2012 - 10:00 am

    rancher Jess as a Chief Petty Officer Retired I thank you for your service to the military and our country. On your coverage about the rooster trial being suffered upon the Riveras I would pray that you would look at the violation by the county of the constitutional rights of the rancher. Roosters are livestock and property, as such the rancher has the protection of our Republic. The Constitution states that we have the right to use our property and further that, life; liberty and the pursuit of happiness are also property rights, Cayuga Falls v. New York. Roosters do not crow loud enough to reach anywhere near the decibel level to be considered noise pollution, therefore I think the rancher is being violated and has right to protection. Do you understand what happens when police invade a property to uphold court orders? Armed men who could kill a person enter with some trepidation and an elevated cense of self-protection. This is a recipe for failure. You must understand that our government has NO constitutional authority to send government agents to endanger the lives of Americans under the concept that the government’s duty is to defend the opinion of a neighbor. In fact our government has the duty to defend human lives and that includes our God given rights, constitutionally protected right to privacy, and that includes our right to own, possess and harvest our livestock against the sentimental or aggravated whims of a misguided majority. The Constitution protects individual rights and not group rights unless the individual violates the group rights, ie, drunk driving, gun use in a crowed area, etc. It sounds to me like the rancher is suffering a judicially imposed constitutional attack. If anyone has seen the result of a country being run by tyrants and violated rights Jess you have and it is not pretty. This case is not what the founders of our republic-wanted especially when you consider that they all were involved in either raising or participating in the use of gamecocks. I would like to hear from the Rivera family. Jim Demoruelle HMC/USN/Ret. 337-363-7597

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