District judge dismisses panhandling lawsuit


District Court Judge Norman Moon has dismissed the lawsuit that challenged the constitutionality of the City of Charlottesville’s panhandling ordinance.

The suit, brought forth by five homeless men in Charlottesville, was filed last June and claims that the soliciting ordinance approved by City Council in August 2010 violates both the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

In its motion to dismiss the lawsuit, the City argued that the plaintiffs lacked standing because “they fail to allege a plausible claim of ‘injury in fact.’”

Although Judge Moon disagreed with the City and argued the five men had standing, he granted the motion to dismiss “for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.”

The city’s ordinance restricts soliciting within 15′ of a bank or ATM machine during business hours; on private property, within 50’ in any direction of the two vehicular crossings on the Mall, at Second and Fourth streets; and “from or to” any individual seated at an outdoor café or doing business at a vendor table. 

For more on the lawsuit, click here and here.