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No permit, no party. Ordinance violators head to court

Discussion continues about a Terre Haute ordinance. Violators of the dance party ordinance headed to court on Tuesday. It's a topic police say they stand by. But, it has residents speaking out.

Posted: May 1, 2018 6:55 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI)- Discussion continues about a Terre Haute ordinance. Violators of the dance party ordinance headed to court on Tuesday. It's a topic police say they stand by. But, it has residents speaking out.

News 10 spoke with Tommy Williams last week. He claims he was wrongly cited for his birthday party with friends and family. 

"Everybody was getting along, having fun, dancing and having barbecue," Williams said. 

The Terre Haute city council passed an ordinance last year. It states anyone hosting a dance or allowing a dance party on their property without a permit can be cited. Hosts also need a liability insurance. 

Williams appeared in court on Tuesday. He believes he was wrongly cited and denied paying a ticket for $37.

"We are going to fight," he said. "We are going to fight Terre Haute."

Nearly 16 others appeared in court with Williams. Several were accused of opening a party to the public and charging admission without a permit.

Imani Payton is a student at Indiana State University. He was cited for a birthday party at his off-campus home.

"If it's about the noise, we can turn it down," Payton said. "We have neighbors and we respect them. Crazy things happen in college it's going to happen no matter what."

Payton accepted his citation. But, he says this is a rule the city needs to change.

"We still get targeted," he said. "They need to compromise with the students."

Terre Haute police explain the ordinance was created to crack down on violent crime at parties. 

"Police should let the party go through until there is actually a problem," Payton said.

A city council meeting will be held on Thursday. John Plasse, Terre Haute police chief, will address the dance ordinance.

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