Suit tossed: Panhandling rules are 'content-neutral'

 

Rejecting the claims of Albert Clatterbuck and four other would-be beggars, federal judge Norman Moon ruled Wednesday that Charlottesville's panhandling regulations are "content neutral" and therefore do not abridge any Constitutional right to free speech or equal protection. With the aid of attorney Jeffrey Fogel, the five men filed suit last June to overturn a City ordinance that banned begging near Downtown Mall intersections, at vendor stands, and from patrons of Mall caf├ęs.

Borrowing language from the plaintiffs, Judge Moon, in his January 18 opinion, ruled "there is no question" that solicitation constitutes protected expression under the First Amendment. However, to their likely dismay, he also concluded that "the right to solicit is not absolute," as he ruled that Charlottesville's limits constitute classic restrictions of time, place, or manner that have been repeatedly upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Fogel says he'll attempt to reverse the decision.

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16 comments

Just do it in a gentlemanly fashion like Wimpy and say, "I'll gladly pay you on Tuesday for a hamburger today." And City Council will give you a voucher to Five Guys.

So who paid the fees and expenses for Jeffrey Fogel to enter suit in the Federal Court. This is an expensive court and the panhandlers would be unlikely to afford it. Does Jeffrey Fogel have that kind of money and time to persue a questionable personal passion. So who underwrote the finances Hawes? And why?

Jeff Fogel would do more to help the poor if he just simply stopped trying to do anything for them and kept his mouth shut. The panhandling controversy between businesses and the haven never would have occurred without Jeff Fogel. The haven and the downtown business association were working together at coming up with solutions to help businesses and the needy, but all of that stopped once Jeff Fogel got involved. As a result of the ensuing controversy which Mr. Fogel did his best to create, the Haven ended up not getting nearly 50k in city funding. Congrats Jeff way to help the needy.

Mr. Fogel couldn't stop there and had to recruit 5 homeless to sue the city. It's hard to imagine a city council that has been receptive to helping the needy then ours. That evil council banned panhandlling on 50 feet of either direction of 2 street crossings on a ten block downtown mall, oh the injustice. Nothing like forcing the hand that feeds the needy to fight the very people they have been trying to help. Way to embarrass the city council and make it easy for various businessman I'll not name to make the city look bad for working with the homeless. Fogel's lawsuit never had a chance as the judge noted the law in question was similar to other laws the had been repeatedly upheld by the supreme court. Congrats Jeff, way to make it politically easy on those in government who want to help the shelters.

Jeff couldn't stop there either. He had to shout down Tim Longo on youtube for committing "acts of violence" against peaceful protesters at the clearing of Occupy Charlottesville. The Charlottesville police probably did the best job in the country at clearing the park without using tear gas, batons, etc. They did so well that out of that hornets nest 1 injury was reported. Even the naked girl said the police did a good job. Congrats Jeff way to make a farce of the occupy movment. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y07ouztiR0g

Hopefully today represent's the end of Mr. Fogel's efforts to help the needy. Unfortunately everything thus far has been about Jeff so it's likely Mr. Fogel will continue to put his ideology ahead of helping actual people.

So will there still be panhandlers soliciting passersby on the mall ? It sounds like not, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything.

Oh, I forgot to mention...the aforementioned "panhander special" voucher to Five Guys is only good for The Mojo Burger. It's made up of equal parts of bologna, ham, and turkey. It tastes a little funny at first and can give you heartburn, but council likes it because it looks so appetizing.

Great news in Judge Moon sending Fogel home empty-handed. Fogel appears to be pushing for his own version of laws for Fogel's "pet projects" while the remainder of the law-abiding residents strive to uphold the actual codes, accepted rule of law. Fogel also wishes to excuse the
occupyer court cases. Fogel is a poor loser and an embarrassment beyond belief.

Why doesn't Mr. Fogel just HELP the needy and let other do, or not do, the same..............why does he have to force the issue down our throats.

You all are really blind. Take some time out of your day and watch those jokers who stand at road ways in the County. "Will Work For Food", "Disabled Vet" etc. signs in hand. One local grocery store OFFERED a job for $50 a day cleaning the parking lot, the "Will Work for Food" sign holder said "No, I make more holding a sign all day."

Many I know have watched them leave for the day - in brand new late model cars - most of us wouldn't buy. "Needy" - no the truly needy are on food stamps, ADC and other are are trying to work their way out. Those are who should be helped - not those who take to the streets begging for their tax free income or those who are begging for their next drink or drug.

And those of you who give them money - you are fools! Donate to the United Way, donate to the local food charities or the Salvation Army.

Mr.Fogel has been out there hustling these issues for
More than forty years , since his days at Rutgers Law School
And the N.J. ACLU.

The briefest internet search will confirm that.

Next stop for Mr.Fogel is the issue of permits for city parks.
And the occupy movement.

Who underwrites Mr.Fogel is a fair question to ponder.

Assumption- "providers" for Fogel are "thick" within the liberal establishment, Charlottesville. Look to the Democrat machine, locally and beyond.

Please Stop Jeff could not have stated it better. All of this has certainly hardened me toward the right. Enough is enough.

actually, donate to your local needy(no need to go out of your communtiy)- they are well documented and really appreciate your help.

What bothers me are the homeless who use dogs as a sympathy ploy/bait for getting money from people. I feel really sorry for those dogs having to lay out on a thin blanket all day on top of cold hard mall bricks, in the fall, winter and early spring. And then panting and trying to keep cool in the hot humid summer. One homeless guy sitting on a blanket with his dog was chastizing his dog for barking a little bit at another dog passing by, kind of grabbing/yanking at the dog, and putting his hands over the dog's mouth as a muzzle, while quietly yelling at him. Both me and another guy who were in the vicinity stopped to keep an eye on that situation, see where he was going with his chastizing. But he soon calmed down, as did the dog. But that dog didn't look happy. I felt bad for him being saddled with that yucky homeless guy as an owner, who's clearly just using him as donation bait.

The difference between the Jeff Fogels of the world and the non-Jeff Fogels, is that the non's (we) donate time and resources QUIETLY (sorry for shouting), taking care of those who are truely needy in our own way.

Does anyone remember the tambourine lady? She'd do the dance of seven veils to her boom box music and tambourine. I always gave her at least a buck!

Don't you think people should have the right to hang out at ATMs and practice their free speach by standing next to the machine and asking you for money? Shouldn't people have a right to lean over the fenced in lunch areas on the mall and ask you for money or hey if you are not going to eat your ----- can I have it. Because suppose they wanted to tell you to vote for Romney at the same time, you are cutting them off.