A Scottsdale man known for his elaborate and noisy holiday displays has appealed his two-year probation sentence for disturbing the peace in his neighborhood.
Chris Birkett filed his appeal with Scottsdale and the Maricopa County Superior Court on Thursday, meeting the 14-day deadline to appeal since his July 7 sentencing, said Stacy Thomas, who works with Birkett’s lawyer, Michael Roth.
City Court Presiding Judge B. Monte Morgan also fined Birkett $383, plus $200 for probation fees, required him to notify the court if he changes his address and banned him from making an unreasonable amount of noise in the future.
Birkett was convicted in June of disturbing the peace with his 2004 Halloween display. He was on vacation this week and could not be reached for comment.
Birkett’s displays brought traffic congestion to his street, in the 8200 block of East Montebello Avenue. Neighbor Alicia Majercin and her husband pressed charges for disturbing the peace when he did not lower the volume on his Halloween display to her satisfaction. His Christmas display in December was even larger.
Majercin, and her husband, Barry, told the Tribune in an e-mail earlier this month they were relieved the legal dispute had ended.
"As far as the case, we are just happy that things are finally settled and hope that we can live our life in peace this upcoming holiday season," they said after Birkett’s sentencing. The couple could not be reached for comment on Thursday.
Scottsdale prosecutor Caron Close confirmed her office received the appeal notice on Thursday. The appeal would be handled by the Superior Court, which will set a date for Scottsdale and Birkett to file briefs that explain their positions.
The appellate judge, who is yet to be assigned the case, would be charged with examining whether a legal error was made during the trial, and the facts behind the noise complaint itself would not be an issue, she said. Close added she was not aware of any legal errors made during the trial.