Maurice the rooster can keep crowing
BARNYARD. The battle that shook the picturesque Island of Oleron for two years has largely exceeded the French borders. The defendant is a rooster called Maurice accused by his neighbors of crowing too early in the morning. The case was heard by the court in Rochefort (Charente-Maritime) from which Maurice emerged victorious.
It could be another hilarious French baguette-beret story. But this time, the case is about a living emblem of the Molières's country. His name is Maurice. He is a rooster and he has recently become a world star despite himself.
The battle began two years ago when a retired couple moved into their second home on the beautiful Island of Oleron, on the west coast of France.
Soon, the new residents start complaining of being woken up too early in the morning by the the king of the barnyard, arguing that Maurice was making an "abnormal racket" and disturbing the peace.
Her regular cacophony disturbed so much that they took Maurice's owner, Corinne Fesseau to court, hoping to make her silence her feathery friend.
$1,110 in damages
But on Thursday, a French court in Rochefort (Charente-Maritime) has ruled that Maurice can keep crowing as he pleases. The court rejected the couple's complaint about the bird's early morning crowing and ordered them to pay $1,110 in damages to the bird's owner.
Maurice the rooster got sued by neighbors who said he was a nuisance.— Emmanuel Etim (@Emiearth) September 7, 2019
Ruling on the bitter two-year legal saga, his cock-a-doodle-doo was not noise pollution under the law, the judge found.
“Maurice has won a battle for the whole of France.”~Owner Corinne Fesseau pic.twitter.com/AaDkV9MUVl
Julien Papineau, the defense lawyer for Fesseau and Maurice, said they had won because: "Under French law, you have to prove there is a nuisance, and this was not done."
Fesseau told Reuters that "Maurice has won a battle for the whole of France." She also burst into a victorious "cocorico" (the French onomatopoeia for the rooster crow and such as a symbol of a French victory roar), outside the courtroom.
Maurice's human, Corinne Fesseau, is a permanent resident of the island, while the plaintiffs, Jean-Louis and Joelle Bironm own a vacation home there.
French people did not approve the approach of the retired vacationers demanding that country life changes to suit their needs.
"Let me sing"
Some 140,000 people signed to "Save Maurice" petition, and some even took to wearing Maurice-themed t-shirts, adorned with the rooster's picture and the words "Let Me Sing."
# je suis Maurice ... pic.twitter.com/uB0SZGzlWy— artigouha herail ن (@HerailArtigouha) September 5, 2019
Maurice's story has come to represent much more than one bird's right to crow. People in France The conflict between the country and rural areas-a problem that came with the "yellow vests" movement, which was sparked by rural residents who feel that President Emmanuel Macron does not understand their way of life.
"It's ridiculous to be in court because of a rooster" joke Axel, Jordan and Raphael wearing a T-shirt representing a blue-white-red rooster. The three young people came from Strasbourg to spend a few days in New York. "When you hear the rooster crowing, it means that you're in the country, you appreciate it all the more."
Part of France's heritage
Bruno Dionis du Séjour, retired farmer and mayor of the village of Gajac in south-west France has proposed a solution to the chorus of complaints about animal noises - he has asked the government to declare them part of France's heritage, giving them state protection.
Reuters and The Guardian contributed to this report.
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