Original language

Portuguese, International

Date of text
Type of court
National - higher court
Court name
District Court of Porto
Seat of court
Reference number
No. 357 of National Legislation
Civil, Liability, Damages, Human Rights, Administrative
Free tags
Air & atmosphere
Manuel José B. de Oliveira Barros

The plaintiffs are inhabitants of the apartments on the 1st floor of the building located at R. Belos Ares, 32, in Porto. They are acting against the defendant, who opened on the ground floor of the building these families live in, a bingo game hall, which is open daily and without interruption from 18 pm to 2 am. The plaintiffs held that this bingo game hall was opened without the necessary administrative licenses and said that in their flats, one can perfectly hear the noise of conversations and even the numbers that come out in the game. They alleged that the bingo game hall was responsible for noise pollution.

The Court of first instance followed Article 1411º of the Penal Code of the Republic of Portugal and Art. 70 para2 of the Civil Code and enacting appropriate action to the circumstances and ruled that: "The illegal acts, precisely because they are illegal, they may give rise not only to a claim for damages (Cod. Civil, artº 483º ss), but also to an abstention of law and the right of removal or removal of injury. These rights are natural and logical consequence of the protection given by law to the goods protected by it; and you can see your express legal recognition in article 70, paragraph 2, of the Civil Code, which states, "regardless of liability that may arise, a threatened or offended person may require appropriate action to the circumstances in order to prevent the consummation of the threat or mitigate the effects of the offense already committed".
Also the 1976 Constitution, referring to the right "to an healthy and ecologically balance environment of human life" (Article 66. para 1) states that "the threatened citizen or the injured one may, in accordance with the law, recur to court for the cessation of the causes of molesting and their compensation" (para 3).
Besides the right to moral and physical integrity provided by article 26 of the Constitution (already enshrined in the 1933 Constitution - article 8, paragraph 1),the current Portuguese Constitution guarantees, inter alia, rights to health protection - artº 64, paragraph 1, and art. 66, paragraphs. 1 and 3, - whose close ties to the personality can not be doubted.  For all these reasons, the court decided that the defendant are to be charged. In particular, it decided that the defendant has to undertake, at their expense, the following works on their game hall of Belos Ares Street, 32, r / c:
1) elimination of reflective materials;
2) creation of sound isolation;
3) execution of a floating floor and ceiling, walls and pillars, with suitable isolating materials, and that are officially approved;
4)setting filter of appropriate dimensions in the installation of ventilation / air conditioning, or building chimney at a great height suitable for convenient dispersion of smoke and smells; all so that attenuate the disturbing smells reported
5) shut down, every day, at 10 pm, their aforesaid facilities:
6) the defendant must request the customers to not park in reserved lots-if necessary, pay service – in order to put an end to loud insults that occur there and the irregular parking and consequent traffic jam.