2017 Nebraska Revised Statutes
Chapter 28 - CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS
28-1322 Disturbing the peace; penalty.
Disturbing the peace; penalty.
(1) Any person who shall intentionally disturb the peace and quiet of any person, family, or neighborhood commits the offense of disturbing the peace.
(2) Disturbing the peace is a Class III misdemeanor.
- Laws 1977, LB 38, § 306.
The State cannot constitutionally criminalize speech under this section solely because it inflicts emotional injury, annoys, offends, or angers another person. But speech can be criminalized under this section if it tends to or is likely to provoke violent reaction. State v. Drahota, 280 Neb. 627, 788 N.W.2d 796 (2010).
Under subsection (1) of this section, the definition of breach of the peace is broad enough to include the offense of disturbing the peace; it signifies the offense of disturbing the public peace or tranquility enjoyed by citizens of a community. The term "breach of the peace" is generic and includes all violations of public peace, order, or decorum, or acts tending to the disturbance thereof. Provocative language consisting of profane, indecent, or abusive remarks directed to the person of the hearer may amount to a breach of the peace, and such language constitutes "fighting" words, which are not constitutionally protected forms of speech. State v. Broadstone, 233 Neb. 595, 447 N.W.2d 30 (1989).