- Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
- Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
- Date Filed: 11-21-2014
- Case #: 13-10218
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Fisher for the Court; Circuit Judges Thomas and Berzon
- Full Text Opinion
Here, the panel considered whether a “ Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) regulation prohibiting disorderly conduct that creates loud, boisterous, and unusual noise is unconstitutionally vague. . .”. Defendant, Louis Agront, Sr, visited the VA emergency room because his children had concerns regarding his recent behavior changes. However, Agront believed his visit was for a different reason. While he was being treated by several doctors and nurses, he became agitated and would storm off from the hospital and his children had to collect him. At one point, he and his son began yelling at each other loudly in the parking lot and the VA police had to be called to the scene. When the defendant refused to comply with the responding officer’s orders, the officer arrested him. He was later charged with “‘engag[ing] in disorderly conduct which created a loud, boisterous, and unusual noise, while on property under the charge and control’ of the VA.” Agront later moved to dismiss these charges, on the grounds that “his conduct is void for vagueness in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.” His motion was denied by the magistrate judge. The panel found that when applied to the defendant’s conduct, the regulation was not unconstitutionally vague. The VA prefers to keep the hospital a calm environment to effectively care for the veterans, especially those with psychiatric disorders. The panel found that although the definition of “loud boisterous, and unusual noise” was not specifically defined in the ordinance, the conduct “would tend to disturb the normal operation of a VA facility.” Further, the panel affirmed the district court’s finding that” the evidence not only established that his conduct would tend to disturb the normal operation of the hospital, but also that the hospital’s operation was actually disturbed.” AFFIRMED.