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Can a person filing a noise complaint remain anonymous?

Jessica Toomer


Q. If a person files a complaint against you in the county for a noise violation with the police, can they remain anonymous or must they be named in the complaint? Is it legal for someone to warn you of an impending complaint anonymously in writing AND by placing the written complaint in a mailbox, without postage?

A.  According to Sgt. Jerry Brewer of the New Hanover Sheriff’s Department, a person can remain anonymous when filing a noise ordinance complaint.

“Filing a complaint isn’t exactly what it sounds like,” Sgt. Brewer explained, “You don’t go in to an office and file something with a clerk. For a noise ordinance violation, you would call in to the Sheriff’s office and request assistance. Once the deputy arrives on the scene, it’s for them to judge whether there is a noise violation.”

Because filing a noise complaint is essentially a call-in to the Sheriff’s department, the caller can remain anonymous if they wish. Also, if the violation takes place within city limits, residents wishing to file a complaint should contact city police.

As to the second part of your question, according to the U.S. Postal Service, it is illegal to place anything into someone else’s mailbox without it being mailed and marked by a postage stamp.


Can someone please explain the noise ordinance code in the Wilmington city limits and the county and how they are enforced?

I heard that all it takes to get a noise violation ticket is for someone to file/call in a complaint. Is this true?


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