Restraining order filed against griping neighbor

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Restraining order filed against griping neighbor

The Korean phrase that can literally be translated as “neighbor cousin,” refers to emotional closeness shared by neighbors. In modern Korean society, where almost one in two people live in cookie-cutter apartments, that phrase isn’t quite as fitting anymore.

Two neighbors living in the same apartment building in Seongbuk District, eastern Seoul, recently stood before a court. One neighbor had applied for a restraining order to prevent the other neighbor from making any kind of contact with him.

The cause of the problems between the two neighbors, with one living a floor above the other, was apartment noise. The Seoul Central District Court said Sunday that it partially accepted a request for a restraining order filed by one neighbor, surnamed Park, against his neighbor surnamed Kim.

Park requested the court make his house off-limits to Kim, who had become deeply disgruntled over the sound of footsteps from Park’s home above him.

Judge Kim Jae-ho, who heard the court case, issued a court order banning Kim from knocking on Park’s door or ringing the doorbell to complain about noise.

The court, however, allowed the neighbor to send mobile text messages or make calls so that Park would be aware of Kim’s irritation.

In the injunction request, Park alleged his neighbor indiscriminately complained about the noise, saying Kim’s complaints extended to shouting at Park’s family and Kim hitting his own ceiling with an object such as a baseball bat.

Fed up with Kim’s constant complaints, Park, who alleged his family did their best not to disturb their neighbor, requested the court restrain Kim from contacting Park and his family.

“The court decision is intended to prevent further conflicts between the two neighbors, with their emotions being very upset [over the noise],” said Judge Ahn Hee-gil of the central district court.

The number of crimes related to apartment noise this year has alerted the nation to how much people are stressed by disturbances at home.

During the Lunar New Year holiday this year, a man killed two brothers visiting their parents after an argument over noise in a Seoul apartment building.


By Choi Hyeon-chul, Kang Jin-kyu [jkkang2@joongang.co.kr]

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