Homeless Man Sues Springfield For Anti-Panhandling Laws



Panhandlers are suing Illinois' capital city for allegedly violating their First Amendment rights to free speech by stopping them from asking for money.

The suit filed this week in federal court in Springfield says police wrongly tell panhandlers it's illegal topanhandle. If they don't leave an area, the suit says the panhandlers are sometimes arrested.

The lawsuit cites one plaintiff as making less than $25 a day panhandling with a sign reading, "Please Help Out Any Way U Can." It claims the 52-year-old has been arrested for panhandling.
Similar lawsuits have been filed across Illinois, including in Chicago.

Carbondale has a similar law against panhandling.

The Springfield suit seeks unspecified damages and asks that a city law prohibiting "vocal appeals" for "immediate donations" be declared unconstitutional.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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