Legal Question in Civil Rights Law in California

Is it legal to ask people for money in Orange County California?

Asked on 9/19/15, 4:12 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Frank Pray Employment Law Office of Frank Pray

I was looking for the rest of this question. It may depend on whether you're holding a gun at the time of the request. It can also depend if you're running a Ponzi scheme out of Newport Beach. But if you're a panhandler, trying to survive, then your question deserves a serious answer. If you're on a freeway ramp, legally, you're on the freeway. For safety reasons, that's illegal. Interfering with the flow of vehicular and pedestrian traffic for example because of aggressive tactics will be enjoined. But you have a free speech constitutional right to be in public areas to request money in Orange County, or anywhere in the U.S. The right in California is also in the state constitution. But "free speech" is not unlimited. The cities of Orange County can intervene if you are creating a public nuisance or disturbing the peace -- loose terms indeed, and courts are cautious to protect speech. Our County Superior Court addressed this question when the City and County commenced sweeps to clear the homeless encamped at the Civic Center Plaza. The court had to weigh the health and safety of the public (due to debris and sanitation) against the right of free assembly. great lawyers in our County sued successfully on behalf of the homeless to obtain settlements for rough and inhumane tactics to remove homeless encampments. In another case in 1991 our Judge Tam Nomoto found police discriminated against the homeless by arresting them for minor infractions that well dressed citizens committed without arrest. So your short question is possibly very important. The homeless and the poor are citizens with equal rights under the law. If this question relates to you personally, I pray you find the employment and resources you need.

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Answered on 9/20/15, 9:25 am

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