Disorderly house; unlawful for any person to keep, maintain, operate or to visit. (HB1774)

Introduced By

Sen. John Cosgrove (R-Chesapeake)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Disorderly house; penalty. Provides that it is unlawful for any person to keep, maintain or operate or to visit a disorderly house. The bill allows the governing bodies of counties, cities, and towns to adopt ordinances prohibiting and punishing such conduct. A violation of this law is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor. "Disorderly house" is defined to mean a house or building where persons meet or may meet for the purpose of unlawfully dispensing or indulging in intoxicating liquors, unlawful gaming, or boisterous or other disorderly conduct. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


12/28/2006Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/10/07 074720276
12/28/2006Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/11/2007Assigned Courts sub: Criminal Law
01/15/2007Impact statement from DPB (HB1774)


Waldo Jaquith writes:

Just to be clear on this: "It shall be unlawful for any person to keep...a house or building where persons meet or may meet for the purpose of unlawfully dispensing or indulging in intoxicating liquors, unlawful gaming."

So we're making it illegal to...break the law?

I'm all for giving localities more power, but this seems a bit goofy.

Greg Bouchillon writes:

Seriously, this is worded that if some kids throw a party that's a bit too loud, mom and dad get a misdemeanor? This is whacky.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

I'm looking around my house right now and -- I've got to admit -- it's a bit disorderly. (And if I don't have a glass of port in my hand in the next five minutes, I'm going to get cranky.) Sounds like somebody should call the police.

Ben C. writes:

Okay, so, what's the real purpose of this bill? Is it to allow us to prosecute people who are at the house without proving that they did anything wrong? I feel like there's something that this is getting at, but I'm not entirely sure what.

Bill Tetzeli writes:

"Boisterous" is an incredibly loaded and ill-defined term, it could mean "fun", "high-spirited", or "way too damn loud!" That term really needs to be replaced or clearly defined. A free society's inconsistent with Officer So-And-So walking past a party and thinking since he's had a lousy day, why should anyone else be having a good one? Preserve us from capriciousness, don't enable it.

jennifer writes:

Waldo, I have to inform you that anything you say may be held against you in a court of law.
I hope this bill gives the Commonwealth Attorneys offices more money to prosecute this because this will considerably add to their caseload. Not that I think it has a chance (well I can hope anyway).

David writes:

Once again, another excuse for warrantless searches. It's all part of linking people that like to have fun with drug use, nudity, whoredom, immorality, pornography,lewdness, and other inexcusable behaviors, by God!

mckora writes:

If I have a party at my house and I don't invite my neighbor and he/she makes a noise complaint does this give the police the power to enter my house even if they can't hear the noise outside?
On a lighter note- What do the fraternatiies at UVA think of this Bill?

Gil Clancy writes:

This is punishable as a Class 1 M. I am under the impression that police cannot enter a house without a warrant unless they have P.C. that a felony is being committed therein. (Or, of course, if they receive consent to enter). Does anyone know for sure?

Waldo Jaquith writes:

This bill was killed in committee. Here is the video: