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Loud neighbors

MurphysParadoxMurphysParadox Registered User regular
edited August 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
I live on the middle floor of a three story apartment building. The layout is long, with a living room/dining room open area leading to a hallway which has a small bedroom off from the side and a master at the end; the entire place is only 1000 sqft. A few months ago, a group of three guys moves in above us. Ever since they moved it, it has been nothing but extremely loud music.

They love what I have come to call Mexican Polka. It has an extremely heavy bass; so much that when they play it in their living room, we can hear it clearly in the master bedroom. The guy in the second bedroom picked up GTA 4 when it came out and I have, on several occasions, been able to tell what mission he was on by the volume of the game. At the current time of posting, they are going all out - Loud FPS + Loud Rap (I can only make out that it is a latino rapper, but the beat sucks), and playing the Polka in their living room. There isn't a place in the apartment that is safe from the noise.

We have complained to management several times with no results. We have gone upstairs and pounded on their door with about 50% success (25% actually results in someone answering the door, but they either don't speak english or at least pretend not to). We have pounded on our ceiling (75% effective). This time, they responded by turning things up.

Options:
1) Complain to management again - Hasn't worked before and there isn't anyone there at this time of night.
2) Pound on the ceiling/door - Tried that; made it worse.
3) Call the cops - This is an option I am loathe to perform because the cops won't (can't) do anything but ask them to be quite. The guys upstairs will just turn it up again later. This also escalates the situation into places that leave me concerned. These guys, if at all aggressive or angry, know where I live and which car I drive and can easily retaliate in ways that cannot be associated back to them.
4) Fire with Fire - If it were the people below us, I'd have already flipped our speaker system down to the floor and given them some Lords of Acid or Aphex Twin (and not his Ambient album). But they aren't and I can't just do a free-for-all sonic assault because I have my own neighbors.
5) Move out - Working on this as fast as the Real Estate folks can get contracts signed and the Bank can get mortgages approved.

Anyone have other suggestions or lessons learned?

Murphy's Law: Whatever can go wrong will go wrong.
Murphy's Paradox: The more you plan, the more that can go wrong. The less you plan, the less likely your plan will succeed.
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    HeirHeir Ausitn, TXRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    After you've asked them, you call the cops. Cops can do much more than ask them to be quiet, including ticketing them.

    If you know any of your other neighbors, encourage them to report these folks as well.

    Heir on
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    DalbozDalboz Resident Puppy Eater Right behind you...Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Heir wrote: »
    After you've asked them, you call the cops. Cops can do much more than ask them to be quiet, including ticketing them.

    If you know any of your other neighbors, encourage them to report these folks as well.

    Agreed on both. If you check you local municipal code, there should be noise standard which they can actually be cited for violating, especially if it is "nighttime hours."

    I'm actually dealing with some of this myself right now as some asshole has moved in upstairs who doesn't seem to know how to use the volume control on his TV (which I think has a sub woofer on it), and I'm pretty sure has been making illegal modifications to the unit (installing satellite dishes, installed windows conditioners which don't seem to have any support and could easily fall out of the window and kill someone, etc.). Seriously, I hear him talking on his phone all the time, and he really is an obnoxious, self-centered asshole. Sorry, venting a little.

    Dalboz on
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    DeathwingDeathwing Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I had a somewhat similar situation a few years ago when I lived in NY (Rochester). Ended up getting the jerk more or less evicted, probably helped somewhat by the fact that he smoked MASSIVE amounts of pot, and made no attempt whatsoever to hide it.
    1) Complain to management again - Hasn't worked before and there isn't anyone there at this time of night.

    Yeah, this probably won't do much good. If there is a specific section in the lease that deals with noise issues, keep bringing this up repeatedly, but by the time you annoy them into doing something...Hopefully you'd be gone anyway.
    2) Pound on the ceiling/door - Tried that; made it worse.

    As you noted, will only make things worse.
    3) Call the cops - This is an option I am loathe to perform because the cops won't (can't) do anything but ask them to be quite. The guys upstairs will just turn it up again later. This also escalates the situation into places that leave me concerned. These guys, if at all aggressive or angry, know where I live and which car I drive and can easily retaliate in ways that cannot be associated back to them.

    Well, this pretty much shoots down the method I used to nullify the idiot in my case - although he was a skinny lil' vegetarian pot-smoker, I don't know what your neighbors are like obviously. I would note that I think generally cops won't mention who actually made a complaint, but again, I don't know how hard (or not) it would be for your neighbors to figure it out.

    If you like, let me know what part of NoVA you live in, I can try and find out if there are any appropriate laws covering this sort of issue. The cops WILL eventually do something that will stick if you get them out there enough times - especially if the neighbors are doing something else illegal in plain sight on top of the noise. Depending on the exact law, there could be fines, eventually escalating to jail time with enough violations. Chances are there is a certain time of night past which no noise above a certain level is allowed.

    If you have neighbors, get them to complain and call the police also. As far as retaliation, the more people you can get involved, the less chance there is of you being targeted specifically.

    The final straw in my case ended up being an incident where the jerk upstairs had his buddies over for a loud party starting about 6 PM, culminating with me calling the cops when they started having a drunken shouting match around 10:30 or so, complete with loud music and literally slamming themselves and other random objects on the floor. The officer was NOT amused, I can tell you.

    Things had already escalated over the last couple months from polite trips to his door, to shouting matches at 3 AM, to calling the cops when he decided to have a dance party with a few friends at midnight on a Sunday.
    4) Fire with Fire - If it were the people below us, I'd have already flipped our speaker system down to the floor and given them some Lords of Acid or Aphex Twin (and not his Ambient album). But they aren't and I can't just do a free-for-all sonic assault because I have my own neighbors.

    Yeah, as with #2, this won't help.
    5) Move out - Working on this as fast as the Real Estate folks can get contracts signed and the Bank can get mortgages approved.

    This is probably your best choice long-term, aside from getting the neighbors evicted and/or thrown in jail.

    Deathwing on
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    LondonBridgeLondonBridge __BANNED USERS regular
    edited August 2008
    Go to babelfish and write up your complaint and translate into Spanish, print and tape it to their door. Worked for my South American neighbor who kept parking in my spot.

    LondonBridge on
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    FantasmaFantasma Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    You know, I will try to be as honest as I can. I am not you, so because of this, I think your best bet is to just move, and make sure you don't end up in a place where you can be affected again by this kind of environment.

    You have already said you don't want to call the cops for fear of retaliation, this is sound, unfortunately, Mexicans tend to be very violent and seek vengance by any means necessary, no joke.

    Sorry I can't give better advice, but I normally never enter into a fight when there are so many obstacles to achieve victory.

    Fantasma on
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    DeShadowCDeShadowC Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Heir wrote: »
    After you've asked them, you call the cops. Cops can do much more than ask them to be quiet, including ticketing them.

    If you know any of your other neighbors, encourage them to report these folks as well.

    Plus a lot of times these tickets double in price each time.

    DeShadowC on
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    Gnome-InterruptusGnome-Interruptus Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Go to babelfish and write up your complaint and translate into Spanish, print and tape it to their door. Worked for my South American neighbor who kept parking in my spot.

    Wow, thats some solid advice. Especially since you said they seemed afraid to confront you in english.

    Gnome-Interruptus on
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    DmanDman Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Go to babelfish and write up your complaint and translate into Spanish, print and tape it to their door. Worked for my South American neighbor who kept parking in my spot.

    This sounds like it would be hilarious and useful!

    If you then call the cops a week later they will think they pissed off some spanish dude!

    Dman on
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    DeathwingDeathwing Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    You have already said you don't want to call the cops for fear of retaliation, this is sound, unfortunately, Mexicans tend to be very violent and seek vengance by any means necessary, no joke.

    I live in the same general area as the OP, and I can't say this is really true, unless you're dealing with gang members or something. It's more likely that these guys just have a very different standard of what is normal as far as noise.

    Not saying that makes their behavior any more acceptable, but assuming they're all violent thugs just because they're Mexican isn't going to help anything.

    The best options remain either to move, or start getting the police (preferably with a spanish-speaking officer along) involved repeatedly instead/in the meantime.

    Deathwing on
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    DemerdarDemerdar Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Dman wrote: »
    Go to babelfish and write up your complaint and translate into Spanish, print and tape it to their door. Worked for my South American neighbor who kept parking in my spot.

    This sounds like it would be hilarious and useful!

    If you then call the cops a week later they will think they pissed off some spanish dude!

    Unless, of course, they can actually read the language. Babelfish fucks up a lot of grammar.

    Demerdar on
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    noir_bloodnoir_blood Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Fantasma wrote: »
    You know, I will try to be as honest as I can. I am not you, so because of this, I think your best bet is to just move, and make sure you don't end up in a place where you can be affected again by this kind of environment.

    You have already said you don't want to call the cops for fear of retaliation, this is sound, unfortunately, Mexicans tend to be very violent and seek vengance by any means necessary, no joke.

    Sorry I can't give better advice, but I normally never enter into a fight when there are so many obstacles to achieve victory.

    Uh, can we avoid stereotyping people? I'm Mexican, and I don't recall going into blind rages the times people have asked me to lower the volume on my games.

    And if you want, write the note here and I'll translate it for you.

    noir_blood on
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    DiscoZombieDiscoZombie Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    every few days, my upstairs neighbors get into a screaming match at the top of their lungs late at night. I swear it sounds like one is going to kill the other. there is stomping and slamming and who knows if there's hitting. it's craziness. I also never know whether I should call the cops or not. I mean, I guess I could, and the neighbors would have no idea who the report is coming from since it could be the upstairs neighbors, the downstairs neighbors (me), or the across the hall neighbors... but I imagine the cops wouldn't do anything anyway.

    DiscoZombie on
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    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Demerdar wrote: »
    Dman wrote: »
    Go to babelfish and write up your complaint and translate into Spanish, print and tape it to their door. Worked for my South American neighbor who kept parking in my spot.

    This sounds like it would be hilarious and useful!

    If you then call the cops a week later they will think they pissed off some spanish dude!

    Unless, of course, they can actually read the language. Babelfish fucks up a lot of grammar.

    It's actually pretty good if don't try to use slang or any other common English mannerisms when it comes to short-speak and the like.

    "Let's go get some pie." Might not translate so well.

    Whereas

    "We should travel to the market to purchase a pie." Might translate perfectly into the other language.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
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    MishraMishra Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    yeah as another mexican can we please keep the sterotyping to a minimum? I can also translate. Of course if thier playing GTA and they're actually doing the missions I would assume they understand some enlish. "Por favor baja el volumen" is spanish for please turn down the volume."

    Mishra on
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    Monolithic_DomeMonolithic_Dome Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Mishra wrote: »
    yeah as another mexican can we please keep the sterotyping to a minimum? I can also translate. Of course if thier playing GTA and they're actually doing the missions I would assume they understand some enlish. "Por favor baja el volumen" is spanish for please turn down the volume."

    Then if they respond with "callate pinche gringos" that means "Sorry, we'll be sure to turn it down"
    no it doesn't

    Monolithic_Dome on
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    GeodGeod swim, swim, hungryRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I'm also curious as to where you live in NoVA. I live in Falls Church, though my apartment complex is extremely quiet.

    But I do think your best bet is to move. Calling the cops will help, they can give a fine as mentioned earlier, but um, then you might face some retribution. I had the problem with loud neighbors back in college, but it was college, so to be expected. Getting a note and having it translated should probably be the first step. If that doesn't help, then call the cops and see if that helps. If that doesn't or you don't want to go down that road, move out immediately. If you have a rental contract, hopefully management would be smart enough to let you out of it because of the people above you, particularly if they're not going to do anything about it.

    Geod on
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    truck-a-saurastruck-a-sauras Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    if you want to play nasty then try calling INS and have them deported.

    truck-a-sauras on
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    reminderGTOreminderGTO Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Do your research on local noise municipal codes and print it out. Take it to management and remind (lightly threaten) them of these local codes and your rights as a tenant. That's what I've always done when something's bothering that really just isn't right in any lawful form.

    reminderGTO on
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    1ddqd1ddqd Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    You could have the cops come by your apartment while this is going on - they will make sure it is above noise ordinance standards, then ticket them. Oh, and they don't have to mention it was you. In fact, they won't, they'll just say "We've gotten some complaints" but in Spanish.

    1ddqd on
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    MurphysParadoxMurphysParadox Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Thanks for the advice folks - now for a few responses. I don't know the other neighbors in the building. In fact, management has said before that they do not want tenants speaking with other tenants... if there is a noise problem between 11pm and 8am (quite time defined in the lease), we are to call the cops. They are unfortunately quite about the other times.

    The one saving grace here is that the guys upstairs usually cut the noise around 10-11... and then turn it back on around 2 am at just loud enough to keep you up if you are already up but not enough to wake you. The real fun time is when they hit the music at 6 am Sunday mornings and wake me up. This makes me sad.

    As for their specific country of origin. They are Mexican/South American. I have only mentioned this because they do fit several of the stereotypes (music choice, language, etc). My fear of retaliation has nothing to do with this - I'd be just as concerned with any trio of 20-something males that show a disregard for noise concerns.

    Thank you for the offers to translate and to look up sound ordinances. If it comes to that, I will take you guys up on the former and investigate the later myself. For now I shall remain following option #5.

    MurphysParadox on
    Murphy's Law: Whatever can go wrong will go wrong.
    Murphy's Paradox: The more you plan, the more that can go wrong. The less you plan, the less likely your plan will succeed.
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    TexiKenTexiKen Dammit! That fish really got me!Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Call the cops. You've been more than forgiving, and they should know that the noise rules when it comes to nighttime. If you do call the cops, there may be the chance they are illegal and if the cops don't ask them their status the first time, chances are they'll be scared to have future confrontations with the authorities and keep it down.

    If you like the apartment you shouldn't let some people ruin your situation because you are following the rules.

    TexiKen on
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    RNEMESiS42RNEMESiS42 Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    if you want to play nasty then try calling INS and have them deported.
    Wtf? Is that to say all Mexicans in America are illegal? Say what you said to my girlfriend, and see what anearful you would get...I thought this thread was done with stereotyping.

    RNEMESiS42 on
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    TexiKenTexiKen Dammit! That fish really got me!Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    RNEMESiS42 wrote: »
    if you want to play nasty then try calling INS and have them deported.
    Wtf? Is that to say all Mexicans in America are illegal? Say what you said to my girlfriend, and see what anearful you would get...

    Oh come on. It was probably a joke, but even then the fact that they do not speak english can lead people to think that way. They sure aren't tourists if they've taken up residence in Northern Virginia and have lived there for the past few months.

    TexiKen on
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    truck-a-saurastruck-a-sauras Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    RNEMESiS42 wrote: »
    if you want to play nasty then try calling INS and have them deported.
    Wtf? Is that to say all Mexicans in America are illegal? Say what you said to my girlfriend, and see what anearful you would get...I thought this thread was done with stereotyping.

    it wasn't the most serious suggestion. don't feed the trolls or something, even me. guess I should leave the tasteless jokes on fark.com only where they are expected.

    truck-a-sauras on
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    zilozilo Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    You probably have grounds to break your lease, if that helps.

    zilo on
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    TexiKenTexiKen Dammit! That fish really got me!Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    zilo wrote: »
    You probably have grounds to break your lease, if that helps.

    That could work, and ties into something I just thought of. You could record the music when it plays, if it is loud enough. Just record it, state the day and time, and use it as evidence for the landlord. If they don't get off their butts and do something, it can help in breaking the lease in your favor.

    TexiKen on
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    MurphysParadoxMurphysParadox Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    A good point and I definitely would pursue it if I wasn't already living month-to-month... mainly because the management has been pretty cool with rent (+ ~$50 a year for 6 years) and has no reason to kick us out.

    MurphysParadox on
    Murphy's Law: Whatever can go wrong will go wrong.
    Murphy's Paradox: The more you plan, the more that can go wrong. The less you plan, the less likely your plan will succeed.
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    HeirHeir Ausitn, TXRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Just call the cops. It's their job to handle this stuff, not your's.

    Heir on
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    Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against Russian warships) Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    RNEMESiS42 wrote: »
    if you want to play nasty then try calling INS and have them deported.
    Wtf? Is that to say all Mexicans in America are illegal? Say what you said to my girlfriend, and see what anearful you would get...I thought this thread was done with stereotyping.

    it wasn't the most serious suggestion. don't feed the trolls or something, even me. guess I should leave the tasteless jokes on fark.com only where they are expected.
    Or don't bother posting if you're not going to actually include anything that's neither help, nor advice.

    Gabriel_Pitt on
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    PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2008
    RNEMESiS42 wrote: »
    if you want to play nasty then try calling INS and have them deported.
    Wtf? Is that to say all Mexicans in America are illegal? Say what you said to my girlfriend, and see what anearful you would get...I thought this thread was done with stereotyping.

    it wasn't the most serious suggestion. don't feed the trolls or something, even me. guess I should leave the tasteless jokes on fark.com only where they are expected.
    Or don't bother posting if you're not going to actually include anything that's neither help, nor advice.

    Good tip. If you don't start following it yourself I'll give you a card too.

    The report a post system exists for a reason.

    Pheezer on
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    TrowizillaTrowizilla Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    If you do live around other tenents, I don't know why they'd immediately assume it was you that called the cops. It's not like the cops will tell them anything other than "We've had some complaints," and it could be anyone in the vicinity.

    Trowizilla on
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    SWVoodooSWVoodoo __BANNED USERS regular
    edited August 2008
    Ah if you've complained and beat on walls multiple times they're going to know it was you.

    SWVoodoo on
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    JermJerm Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    beat off in a gym sock and tape it to their door

    they'll know what it means

    Jerm on
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    MurphysParadoxMurphysParadox Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    That I want their babies but am now very confused as to the process?

    MurphysParadox on
    Murphy's Law: Whatever can go wrong will go wrong.
    Murphy's Paradox: The more you plan, the more that can go wrong. The less you plan, the less likely your plan will succeed.
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    HeirHeir Ausitn, TXRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Cops won't rat you out. They're trained and paid to handle this stuff. Don't make it more complicated than that.

    Call them, several times if you have to.

    Heir on
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    Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against Russian warships) Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    He's also not the only neighbor, so it's not like the cops show up and there's only one person who could've called them.

    Gabriel_Pitt on
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    MurphysParadoxMurphysParadox Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I am, to my knowledge, the only one to have complained to them... and if they are the type to slash tires in retaliation, that would be enough supporting information to motivate their anti-social behavior.

    Of course, they may just be annoying, but ultimately peaceable, 20-somethings. However, given how much a set of tires cost and my general pessimism, I'm not inclined to try it out.

    MurphysParadox on
    Murphy's Law: Whatever can go wrong will go wrong.
    Murphy's Paradox: The more you plan, the more that can go wrong. The less you plan, the less likely your plan will succeed.
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    HeirHeir Ausitn, TXRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I am, to my knowledge, the only one to have complained to them... and if they are the type to slash tires in retaliation, that would be enough supporting information to motivate their anti-social behavior.

    Of course, they may just be annoying, but ultimately peaceable, 20-somethings. However, given how much a set of tires cost and my general pessimism, I'm not inclined to try it out.

    No offense, but that's a pretty weak reason to not call the cops. If this is a real concern (do you have any reason to think they would actually do this?) you can voice your concerns to the police.

    Honestly, you're more likely to get your tires slashed if you try to do something directly to them (like banging on the walls all the time).

    Heir on
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    CrashtardCrashtard Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Situations like this basically come down to one thing: how much are you willing to live with? You don't have to put up with this type of shit. Call the police, over and over as many times is as necessary until something gets done about it. Call them enough times and they will force your landlord to resolve the situation.

    Crashtard on
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