Friday, October 27, 2006

Las Vegas homeless feeding ordinance
ruled unconstitutional

A trial judge has ruled that the Las Vegas ordinance which prohibits giving food to homeless people at city parks is unconstitutionally vague and denies equal protection of the law.

The ruling came in a criminal case against Patrick Band, who was one of five people issued summonses under an ordinance making it illegal to provide food or meals to the indigent "for free or for a nominal fee" in parks. The case against Band was dismissed.

The ACLU of Nevada hailed Municipal Court Judge George Assad's decision to dismiss the case and urged the city to stop enforcing the ordinance -- at least until a federal court rules on the federal ACLU lawsuit. "There is absolutely no justification and no basis for marshals, police or anyone else to be arresting or citing people based on this law that a Las Vegas judge has ruled unconstitutional," said Allen Lichtenstein, ACLU general counsel in Las Vegas.

The city is appealing.

Read the Las Vegas Sun article here.


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