Alarm Industry Fights Sandy Springs Ordinance in Appeals Court

Alarm Industry Fights Sandy Springs Ordinance in Appeals Court
ESA Communications — January 30, 2020

Last week, the alarm industry made its oral argument at the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to fight alarm company fining for false alarms in Sandy Springs, Georgia.

The city’s controversial alarm verification ordinance went into effect last June. Since then, alarm companies have been required to verify home and business intrusion alarms by using audio, video or in-person verification before notifying 911. Police are not responding to any incidents without verification of a crime, and alarm companies are paying steep fines for false alarms triggered within the city limits.

The lawsuit – originally filed by local Georgia security integrators – was dismissed in 2018, and it was just Tuesday that an appeals court heard the industry’s case.

Judge Rothstein, Presiding Judge Anderson and Judge Marcus heard the appeal. All judges had studied the submitted briefs and were well prepared to hear the official appeal.

“All three judges were very interested in the case and asked questions of both parties,” says Brad Carver, Senior Managing Director of HBS Government Affairs at Hall Booth Smith, P.C. representing the industry.

Throughout the appeal, the industry argued the fine on alarm companies do not have control of triggering a false alarm.

“Generally, we see opinions entered between 3-6 months following an oral argument like this one,” says Carver.

John Loud, president of LOUD Security Systems in Georgia and ESA’s most recently elected vice president of the Executive Committee, expects a 2-1 decision in favor of the industry’s position on the controversial ordinance, based on the arguments he heard in the courtroom Tuesday.

“I think the industry’s argument has a great shot. Our legal team did an exceptional job and I expect that we will ultimately get our real day in court,” says Loud.


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