The general understanding is that there are no current laws to deal with annoying phone calls. But I think there is: the local noise ordinance.
For instance, if a man has a grudge against his neighbor, he could turn up the volume on his music system to annoy that neighbor, but he would easily be found out and fined under the local noise ordinance. Instead, the man searches the Internet for his neighbor’s phone number and to subscribe to a caller ID spoofing service, and then makes annoying calls to that neighbor.
It’s likely that some local police departments have the resources to investigate spoofed calls but don’t know what law, if any, they are trying to enforce. Besides, most departments have a budget and are uncertain that they can recover the investigation’s costs, so most will not conduct one.
Hopefully, the courts will agree that spoofed, annoying calls of local origin fall under the jurisdiction of local noise ordinances.
Never miss a local story.
Appropriately, Lexington’s noise ordinance allows for a fine of up to $500 per violation.
Over the last couple of years, people have stated that there are no laws that apply to these new technologies. The issue isn’t the technology; it’s how people employ it.
Ken Susong Jr.