Judge William Croutier got the chance to right a wrong after Robert Schiavelli of Rockville Center, New York was given two summonses for disturbing the peace on February 12th and February 13th. The crime? Laughing too loudly in his front yard and his neighbors complained that he could be heard from across the street.
Schiavelli who is considered disabled due to neurological impairments claimed he was laughing due to his neighbors “staring at me. He kept eye-balling me … and mocking me.”
The good thing is that he has an attorney who said “the day my client gets convicted for laughing, I’ll quit practicing law, and I’ve been practicing for 20 years.” He further explains what the ordinance is for “those who are acting in such a manner as to annoy, disturb, interfere with, obstruct or be offensive to others.”
None of those things were going on at the time. The argument is that the neighbors are the culprits of disturbing the peace. If Schiavelli wasn’t mocked he wouldn’t have laughed so loudly. Now by incurring the two summons he faces a fine of $250 for each and 15 days in prison.
Now how is it that the neighbors can mock him? Harass him? And still not be charged for the same offense? What’s even worse is that judge Croutier got a chance to do the right thing and refused to do it. Instead said he “was not so inclined” to dismiss the charges. For his inaction there’s a better consequence for him and that is permanent removal from the bench.