What to do when the neighbor’s dog barks?

Dog barking: nuisance?

Article R 1336-5 of the Public Health Code stipulates that no particular noise must, by its duration, its repetition or its intensity, affect the tranquility of the neighborhood or the health of man, in a public or private place. It also specifies that it matters little whether the noise is caused by a person himself, through the intermediary of a person, of a thing in his custody or even of an animal placed under his responsibility. To designate these nuisances, we speak of behavioral noises.

Thus, the barking of a dog generates a disorder recognized by law and can therefore be sanctioned. It suffices that these are continual, repeated or intense, one of the three situations being sufficient to characterize the situation of uproar. In this case, we also speak of abnormal neighborhood disturbance.

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This uproar can be diurnal, taking place during the day, or nocturnal, at night, which further aggravates the situation. Indeed, at night, the mere barking of the dog is enough to create a disturbance without characterization of duration, repetition or intensity.

Good to know : There are no specific times to define the nocturnal uproar: it takes place when it is dark, between sunset and sunrise. There is only one condition: the author of the nocturnal uproar must be aware of the trouble it is generating and not take measures to remedy it. Thus, the noise at night is necessarily intentional.

Procedures

First, talk to the neighbor concerned: perhaps he is not even aware of the inconvenience caused when his dog barks during his absence. If he is difficult to meet, do not hesitate to drop him a note in his mailbox and wait a few days to see his reaction.

If you are the owner and your neighbor lives in the same condominium, you can contact the trustee so that he can accompany you in your steps. Indeed, co-ownership regulations usually provide for provisions against this type of problem. If the neighbor concerned is a tenant, also contact his landlord.

If unfortunately, your steps remain unsuccessful, you must then consider the litigation phase. First of all, it is necessary to make note the disorder in one way or another. The easiest way is to call the police or the gendarmerie closest to your home. A report can thus be drawn up by the agents, noting the situation. You can also call on a bailiff who will draw up an official document which you can use in court to prove the problem, but beware, this service will be chargeable.

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Dog barking: what penalties?

There are two possibilities to have this disorder sanctioned.

First of all, following the passage of the police officers, the owner of the dog can receive a contravention of the third class for which the fine to be paid will be a maximum of 450 euros. It will generally be much lower on first observation and reduced in the event of immediate payment (from 68 to 180 euros). In the event of a recurrence, new fines are possible and the owner of the dog could end up being summoned before the police court in order to put an end to the disorder.

The civil way is also open: you can go to the local court or the court to claim damages. The judge may also prescribe measures to put an end to the disturbance. It will be necessary to seize the competent court on the place of situation of your residence.

Good to know : the determination of the competent court is made according to the amount of the claim (lower or higher than 10,000 euros). in all cases, an attempt at conciliation before the justice conciliator attached to the court is mandatory. Insofar as the reality of the damage suffered must be demonstrated, a complete file must be compiled in order to certify the disorder.

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