Church noise complaints back in court

April 16, 2013 4:12:43 AM PDT
A lawsuit over loud music at a Durham church is now in the hands of a judge.

A hearing Monday morning got heated as a group of families that filed the suit against New Hope Church asked a judge to temporarily stop the case.

A hearing last week raised questions about a dismissed noise citation issued to the pastor of the church. Now the church's neighbors are asking for a delay.

"We're asking for the delay because we have to deal with the accusation that we were untruthful, that our attorney was untruthful, and that one of our neighbors was untruthful in the criminal hearing," nearby resident Greg Prospero said. "Those allegations are completely false and we need to resolve those before we proceed with the civil case."

During the hearing, a criminal citation was dismissed with prejudiced after the district attorney's office for a continuance, claiming a key witness was unavailable because she was pregnant.

Later on, the judge in the criminal case was made aware of a television news interview that same witness gave saying she was never subpoenaed.

In court Monday, Prospero's attorney suggested New Hope Church's legal team may be behind the judge's inquiry.

"New Hope lawyers, by way of the Durham judge, have accused us of being dishonorable," Prospero said.

Both Prospero's attorney and attorneys for New Hope Church have declined to comment.

As both sides return to court Tuesday, they are also preparing for sound tests set for Sunday.

"I'm a little concerned about how they're going to run their testing. They're going to be in complete control of the testing and how they take their measurements. We're concerned that's not going to capture our experience which is this thumping base inside our homes," Prospero said.

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