AP NEWS

ACLU joins lawsuit opposing panhandling ordinance

April 2, 2019

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — A civil rights group has joined a lawsuit asking a federal court to strike down a county’s panhandling ordinance in Ohio as unconstitutional.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio says in a release that the amended complaint, filed recently in U.S. District Court in Akron, argues the Summit County law unconstitutionally restricts free speech.

The ordinance limits people’s ability to transfer anything from inside a vehicle to anyone outside who’s within specified roadside rights of way. It also says people cannot “engage in distribution” with anyone in a vehicle in the travel portion of a right of way.

The lawsuit names Summit County, Bath Township and township Police Chief Vito Sinopoli as defendants.

Sinopoli said township officials can’t comment on pending litigation. A message was left at county offices.