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LawAccess NSW > Representing Yourself

Responding to a nuisance order

If your neighbour made a complaint to the local council about noise coming from your dog or cat, you may have been given a notice of intention to issue a nuisance order and then a nuisance order.  

    What is a notice of intention to issue a nuisance order?

    Before you are served with (given) a nuisance order you will be given notice.

    The notice will give you seven days from when you receive the notice to send a letter of objection to the council stating the reasons why you think a nuisance order should not be issued.

    The council will consider your objection and make a decision. If the noise continues and/or the council is not satisfied with your letter of objection, the council will issue the order.

    Sample: Sample notice of intention to issue a nuisance order
    Sample: Sample letter responding to a notice of intention to issue a nuisance order

    What is a nuisance order?

    A nuisance order is an order made by the council to the owner of a cat or a dog. A cat or a dog may be declared a nuisance because of the noise it makes, for example, a dog may be a nuisance by persistently barking.

    The order will require you to take steps to prevent the noise.

    Sample:Sample nuisance order

    What if you don't agree?

    You cannot appeal a nuisance order.

    You may object to the notice given before a nuisance order. You have seven days to object to the notice.

    What if you breach the order?

    Once a nuisance order has been issued it applies immediately and lasts for six months.

    If you have been issued with a nuisance order and the noise continues, you will be breaching the order. It is an offence to breach a nuisance order.

    A local council may issue a penalty notice (fine) for breach of a nuisance order. Alternatively, a local council may charge you with an offence for breaching a nuisance cat order or a nuisance dog order. You will then have to go to court to deal with the matter. There is a fine for a breach of a nuisance order for a nuisance cat and a nuisance dog. There are higher fines for the second offence.

    If you have been given a penalty notice (fine) for breaching an order and you don't agree with it, you may elect to challenge the fine in court. If you elect to go to court you face the higher maximum penalty for a nuisance cat and for a nuisance dog if you are convicted (found guilty).

    For more information about electing to have your fine dealt with at court, see the Fines topic on this website.

    AlertIf you are considering challenging a fine in court or you are charged with an offence, you should get legal advice.