UINTAH COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) – A couple suing the Uintah School District over its softball field made their case in court on Wednesday.
Melissa and Rod Allen live next to the softball field. They said for years they had no problem with the school, but that all changed when the district built a new softball field closer to their property with new lights and a sound system.
“When we can hear the music clearly inside of our home over watching TV or even when showering over the water and can hear the words clearly. That’s problematic. And that’s way too loud,” said Melissa Allen.
The lawsuit requests the district turn down the sound system to a reasonable level. It also requested the district not conduct band practice or use the field before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
During oral arguments, the district said most games are done by 7 p.m. but they are concerned about having a hard off time, especially when many of the schools they compete against are so far away.
“I’d hate to have to have our [Athletic Director] contact those coaches or those kids that might be two or three hours into their trip that are stacked up behind construction or some kind of an accident and say, well, sorry, you got to turn around, you can’t come play this game this afternoon because we have to turn our lights off at nine o’clock,” said Uintah School District Superintendent, Dr. Rick Woodford.
The district also argued they have made concessions, including changing the angle of a speaker and building a higher net to prevent balls from going into the Allen’s property.
During the court proceedings, there was also discussion over if it was necessary for music to be played during practices. The district’s attorney argued this is a common practice for athletes across a variety of sports.
“We don’t want to prevent our female softball athletes from the same benefit from having the same high school athletic experience that all their fellow athletes of the school are getting, because of this issue,” said the district’s attorney.
The Allens have requested a temporary injunction that would prevent the district from using the field after 9 p.m. while the case goes through the court system. The judge is taking it under advisement.