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Durham church, neighbors settle noise complaint

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Newhope Dhurch and its neighbors settled a civil suit out of court, lawyers told a judge Monday. Newhope Dhurch and its neighbors settled a civil suit out of court, lawyers told a judge Monday.
DURHAM, N.C. -

A Durham church and its neighbors settled a civil suit out of court, lawyers told a judge Monday.

Residents of the Hills at Southpoint neighborhood complained that amplified music from neighboring Newhope Church was a nuisance.

Jury selection in the civil suit was set to begin today with the trial scheduled to start Tuesday.

A lawyer for the church, William Thomas, said the civil suit was dropped after both parties "agreed to a mutually satisfactory resolution of the lawsuit."

Details of the settlement were not disclosed.

The lawsuit accused the church of trespass by their noise and obstruction of justice. Neighbors also said the noise levels devalued their homes, which according the complaint, entitles them to more than $10,000 dollars in damages.

"We can hear the music early Sunday mornings," explained Tong Zhou, who lives closest to the church. "It's just heavy music, the drums, the heavy metal music that we can hear."

Zhou was not among those named in the suit.

Representatives from the church say after the lawsuit was filed they took steps to lower the volume inside.

In March, a Durham County judge dismissed a noise ordinance violation charge after a key witnessed did not appear in court. A Supreme Court judge overruled that decision.

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