Monday, January 6, 2014

After Judge Rules Against Boise Code, Missoula Reconsiders Its Own Panhandling Ordinance

Posted By on Mon, Jan 6, 2014 at 8:52 AM

Shortly after the city of Boise adopted a new ordinance directed at panhandlers, the city of Missoula, Mont., followed suit with a similar ordinance, targeting aggressive solicitation and soliciting in certain areas.

But in the wake of last week's ruling from a U.S. District judge that shot down major portions of the Boise ordinance, Missoula city officials say they're rethinking their legislation.

On Jan. 2, U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge ruled in favor of the ACLU of Idaho in its suit against the city, which enacted new legislation to prohibit solicitation for donations "colored by intimidation, obstruction of right-of-way or repeated attempts at solicitation after a negative response."

And now the Missoulian reports that officials in the Montana city will reconsider the issue as early as next week.

"It seems responsible, in light of the court decision, to revisit the subject," Missoula Council President Marilyn Marler told the Missoulian.

Another Council member, Adam Hertz, said the outcome for Boise "raises concerns for Missoula."

"I think we ought to go back and take a look at this before we potentially take on a lawsuit from the ACLU that they already have proven essentially they can win," Hertz told the Missoulian. "I think that would be a big waste of taxpayer dollars and government resources."

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