Bill Gross’s neighbor wants billionaire jailed for loud music
September 26, 2021
Bill Gross (J. Emilio Flores / Corbis Sport / Getty Images)
Bloomberg – Bill Gross’s neighbor to Southern California has said the billionaire should be jailed for five days for violating a judge’s order not to play loud music because it’s the only way for him to make it understood that he must comply with them.
“The financial penalties will have no effect on Mr. Gross’ behavior,” Chase Scolnick, an attorney representing technology entrepreneur Mark Towfiq, told an Orange County judge at the end of the contempt trial on Friday. by Gross. “Five days will force him to take it seriously.”
After hearing from Gross’ attorney, Patricia Glaser, who argued that Towfiq had failed to prove her case beyond a reasonable doubt, Judge Kimberly Knill had just one question.
“If I find your client in contempt, what sentence do you recommend?” Knill asked Glaser.
Glaser suggested a fine or community service.
“No matter how rich or poor people are, no one likes to pay monetary penalties,” she said.
Knill said she would make a decision on October 1.
The lawsuit is the latest turning point in a year-long dispute between the two neighbors that exploded when Gross placed a net over an artwork in his backyard. Towfiq complained to the town and Gross and his wife, Amy, responded by playing music aloud, often replaying themes from old TV shows including “Gilligan’s Island.”
In December, Knill ordered Gross to stop playing loud music in his yard when he or his wife was not themselves outside, and to stand at least five meters from Towfiq and his wife. The judge set the restraining order for three years.
Towfiq claims Gross violated this order in July when he again played loud music, pointed high-powered speakers at Towfiq’s house, and earlier installed a 15-foot umbrella to prevent sight of his neighbour.
Scolnick replayed for the judge videos of Towfiq and the police responding to the scene in which Grosses ‘court music could be heard at Towfiq’s home, as well as a video from Amy Gross’ phone in which she yells out loud “I’m out” while taking a selfie in her pool.
Scolnick also said that Bill and Amy Gross lied several times when they testified, so everything they said should not be believed.
Bill and Amy Gross continue to show their contempt for the court, Scolnick said. “Enough is enough.”
But Glaser said Towfiq had not provided any evidence that the noise level on its property was above 60 decibels after 10 p.m., as required by Laguna Beach’s municipal code for a noise violation.
“Sir. Towfiq did not have or use a decibel meter,” Glaser said. Neither did the police, she said. And she called the video evidence “unreliable.”
She suggested that the judge order the installation of a decibel meter between the properties and order the Grosses not to play music above 65 decibels.
Glaser said she was baffled by Scolnick’s suggestion that the Grosses be jailed for breaking the order.
“I can’t imagine it being in the best interest of Orange County to put Mr. Gross and Ms. Gross in jail,” Glaser said.
Scolnick rejected the idea of a neutral decibel meter, saying the Grosses would find a way to continue to annoy their neighbors.
When Glaser asked to respond to Scolnick’s rebuttal, the judge closed it.
“I’ve heard almost everything I can take,” Knill said.