Neighbors Sue Home-Schooling Family Over 'Noisy' Kids Playing Outside

by Valerie Williams
Originally Published: 
Image via CBS News

A Texas couple is suing the family next door because their home-schooled kids are too noisy during the day.

There are people in this world who just don’t like kids and the noise they create. We hear about them complaining on airplanes, in restaurants and in other public places of the horrors of kids existing and making sound. One couple decided to take their hatred of kiddie noise to a whole other level by suing the family next door for what they perceive to be too much noise coming from their children happily playing in the backyard. Sadly, this is not a joke.

Kelly Counts, a Plano, Texas home-schooling mother of four, tells CBS DFW News of her family’s decision to move to their current home based on the yard accommodating a playhouse her children frequently use. “One of the big reasons we chose the house was because we would be able to move this playhouse.”

The playhouse is good-sized but was approved by both the city and her homeowner’s association. That’s why it’s hard to understand why neighbors Irving and Anita Ward are suing the Counts family claiming the playhouse and the kids playing in it are harming their “tranquil quality of life” and “creating noise issues as well as visibility issues for them and their pets.”

Visibility issues for their pets? Is this life? Do people really complain that their dogs can’t see enough of the neighbor’s yard? I think I need a drink.

According to The Inquisitr, an HOA inspector ruled that the only visibility affected was the view from the Ward’s bedroom to the Counts family’s living room. All the inspector asked was that they remove the porch roof from the playhouse as it was a bit too close to their home and then, they’d be in compliance. They did so and thought the problem was solved.

Apparently not, as the Wards began blaring loud and obscene rap music whenever the Counts kids were outside playing in an effort to force them back in. The Wards allege that the noise levels are worthy of a lawsuit simply because the Counts kids are home-schooled and therefore, spend time outside while most other children are in school and the Wards would be able to have their sweet, sweet silence.

I’m sorry, but are they fucking kidding?

First of all, if the Wards are home all day to hear the kid noise and complain, isn’t this annoying for Kelly Counts since it’s during hours where other people are typically at work when she shouldn’t have to worry about upsetting adult neighbors with her kids’ laughter? This point is obviously ridiculous and I only bring it up to highlight that fact. What of summers when all kids are home? Do the Wards go around suing other families every July and August who have kids that dare play outside?

This is such a clear case of a miserable couple hating on kids and having no tolerance for them whatsoever. If you live in a neighborhood with houses close to each other, you’re bound to hear noises of all kinds. Lawnmowers, party sounds, dogs barking, phones ringing, voices in general — why get so bent out of shape about a few little kids playing? As long as they aren’t banging pots and pans outside your bedroom door at 1:00 am, what’s the problem?

There’s no evidence from the Wards’ lawsuit that the kids were loud outside of daylight and early evening hours, so it’s hard to see where this case has any legs. It’s completely unreasonable to expect total quiet in a populated neighborhood that includes families with kids. Unless you live out in the country or perhaps in a hole in the ground, noise is an inevitable side-effect of suburban and urban life. This couple has no right whatsoever to demand that a neighborhood remain silent for their delicate sensibilities.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t times where a neighbor’s noise levels exceed common decency. There are situations where complaints to authorities are fully warranted. A few years ago, we had neighbors setting off quarter sticks of dynamite just for fun only half an acre from our house. It terrified our dog to the point of him barely breathing and scared the shit out of our kids. Luckily they only did it for a week, but had it gone on longer, you bet your ass we would’ve complained.

The sounds of a war zone are never acceptable for neighborhood life. The sounds of children laughing always are. End of story. Hopefully, this loony lawsuit is thrown out and the Counts can keep having fun in their own yard — just like kids should.

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