Keeping a Disorderly House

In Massachusetts, Keeping a Disorderly House is a common-law offense that is often brought against a homeowner or tenant as a result of a loud or disruptive party or gathering. Though the Commonwealth is not required to show that a Defendant was even present at the time of the disorderly conduct or disturbance, they must first prove that the Defendant knew or had reason to know that such unruly or disturbing activity was taking place at the residence. Secondly, they must prove that the Defendant did not take any action to prevent or break up such activity. Therefore, it would be a complete defense that a Defendant was away for the weekend and had no knowledge that their roommate was intending to throw a party.

Keeping a Disorderly House
carries the following potential penalties for the first offense:
  • a fine of not more than $150

A subsequent offense carries the following potential penalties:

  • imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not more than 6 months
  • a fine of not more than $200
  • both fine and imprisonment

If you have been charged with Keeping a Disorderly House contact our office immediately: 


(617) 830-2188
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