A retired couple in Oleron, western France, may have ruffled some feathers when they decided to sue their neighbours and Maurice, their rooster, for keeping them from sleeping in. What started with angry letters has led to a trial which started in Rochefort on Thursday.
«Neighbourhood noise complaints always seem ridiculous. People always get the impression that those complaining are tyrants. But... Еще, really, there is a real harm,» says Vincent Huberdeau, the plaintiffs' lawyer.
The dispute started in the spring of 2017, when Corinne Fesseau, Maurice's owner, started to receive letters from her neighbour demanding that the noise stop, as it was waking the two 68-year-olds up in the morning when they wanted to sleep in. Soon enough, lawyers were involved, and the case escalated, leading not only to a trial, but to the involvement of several rural mayors chiming in to declare “cock-a-doodle-doo” and other typical countryside sounds a national heritage exempt from noise complaints.
Maurice supporters gathered outside the courtroom with signs defending the cock's rights.
«I believe that this case should be heard, so it can be established that the countryside is entitled to its sounds, that roosters can sing,» Fesseau said.
The trial, originally scheduled for June 6, was postponed until Thursday, and is now ongoing.