November 21, 2013
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - A federal judge in Charlottesville is set to hear arguments in a lawsuit challenging the city's panhandling ordinance.
The law prohibits the solicitation of money within 50 feet of either of two streets that cross the Downtown Mall. The city enacted the ordinance to shield customers at outdoor cafes from aggressive panhandlers.
Jeffrey Fogel is a cooperating attorney with the ACLU who is representing two people who regularly panhandle on the Downtown Mall. The ACLU says Fogel will argue that the ordinance should be struck down as a violation of his clients' First Amendment free-speech rights.
The ACLU and the city are both asking Judge Norman Moon in rule in their favor without a trial.