updated 6/9/2009 6:44:34 PM ET 2009-06-09T22:44:34

Being honked off doesn't give you a right to honk on.

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That's the ruling from a Snohomish County Superior Court judge in the case of a woman who expressed her anger at a neighbor by leaning on her car horn at 6 a.m.

Helen Immelt got in a dispute with the neighbor in 2006, after she learned that her neighbor filed a complaint with their homeowners association about her chickens.

Immelt responded by parking in front of his house at 5:50 a.m. the next day and leaning on her horn for 10 minutes straight. After the neighbor called the police, she returned for a second round of honking two hours later.

Immelt was cited for a noise violation and appealed her conviction to the superior court, saying her honking was free speech. But Judge Richard J. Thorpe ruled Monday, "Horn honking which is done to annoy or harass others is not speech."

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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