Middle Township now requires panhandlers to get a permit or face fines, jail time

Panhandlers in Middle Township must now get a permit in order to solicit money in the Cape May County town, and civil rights groups say

Panhandlers in Middle Township must now get a permit in order to solicit money in the Cape May County town, and civil rights groups say the new ordinance is unconstitutional.

Panhandlers in Middle Township must now get a permit in order to solicit money in the Cape May County town, and civil rights groups say the new ordinance is unconstitutional. (10/9/13)

EDISON - Panhandlers in Middle Township must now get a permit in order to solicit money in the Cape May County town, and civil rights groups say the new ordinance is unconstitutional.

The police chief says the permits are free, and the law is intended to curb aggressive panhandlers. Those arrested without a permit face a $250 fine and possible jail time.

Civil rights groups worry that laws like this could pop up all over New Jersey and unfairly target the homeless.

ACLU legal director Ed Barocas says police can only arrest panhandlers who are harassing people for money. "You can't write an ordinance so broadly that an individual needs permission from the government to engage in free speech in the public square," Barocas says.

Many in a Newark soup line told News 12 New Jersey that they supported the idea, and would go along with whatever was required. "If they don't want to get locked up, they'll get the permit," says William Spencer.


 

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Trending Video

A bobcat that was struck by car was 1 Bobcat struck by car released back into wild
Man arrested in shooting involving Fetty Wap now 2 Man arrested in shooting involving Fetty Wap facing robbery charges
Ella Glenn is today's Scholar Athlete. 3 Scholar Athlete - Ella Glenn
News 12 New Jersey - Weather On The 4 New Jersey Weather Forecast
Islip Town officials updated residents on the future 5 Town gives update on Roberto Clemente Park reopening

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Features

It's good to know you have Walt Kane Kane in Your Corner

It's good to know you have Walt Kane in your corner.

News 12 takes a look at the hottest Tech Check

Eric Landskroner has a look at the latest gadgets and biggest stories in tech.

News 12 On the Scene

Check out these exclusive videos from New Jersey celebs!

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE