Aggressive Panhandling: Ordinance No. 695-05

An Emergency Ordinance

To supplement the Codified Ordinance of

Cleveland, Ohio, 1976, by enacting new Section

605.031 relating to aggressive solicitation.

 

Mayor Campbell

      WHEREAS, this Council believes that persons should be able to move freely upon the streets and sidewalks of the City without undue interference or exposure to intimidation or harassment; and

      WHEREAS, this Council finds and determines that the free flow of pedestrian and vehicular traffic is of vital importance to the economic vitality of business and the City as a whole; and

      WHEREAS, this Council believes in free access and enjoyment of public places; and

      WHEREAS, this Council believes that the prohibitions contained in this ordinance are necessary to ensure protection of pedestrian and vehicular traffic and free access and enjoyment of public places; and

      WHEREAS, this Council finds and determines that forcing oneself upon the company of another as proscribed in this ordinance is conduct that would intimidate a reasonable person; and

      WHEREAS, this ordinance constitutes an emergency measure providing for the usual daily operation of a municipal department, now therefore,

Be It Ordained By The Council Of The City Cleveland:

Section 1. That the Codified Ordinances of Cleveland, Ohio, 1976 are supplemented by enacting new Section 605.031 to read as follows:

Section 605.031 Aggressive Solicitation

(a) For purpose of this section:

(1) “Aggressive manner” means as follows:

A. Approaching, seeking or following a person before, during, or after solicitation if that conduct is intended, or likely to cause, a reasonable person to (i) fear bodily harm to oneself or another, (ii) fear damage to or loss of property, or (iii) be intimidated;

B. Intentionally or recklessly touching or causing physical contact with another person without that person’s consent in the course of soliciting if the touching or physical contact is likely to cause a reasonable person to feel restrained or intimidated;

C. Continuing to solicit from a person after the person has given a negative response;

D. Intentionally or recklessly blocking the safe or free passage of a person or vehicle by any means, including unreasonably causing a pedestrian or vehicle operator to take evasive action to avoid physical contact. Acts authorized by a lawfully issued permit shall not constitute obstruction of pedestrian traffic for purposes of this section; or

E. Intentionally or recklessly using obscene, abusive, or threatening language, or gestures, toward a person being solicited.

(2) “Automated-teller machine” means a device, linked to a financial institution’s account records, that is able to carry out transactions, including, but not limited to account transfers, deposits, cash withdrawals, balance inquiries, and mortgage and loan payments.

(3) “Automated-teller machine facility” means the area comprised of one or more automated-teller machines, and any adjacent space that is made available to banking customers.

(4) “Public property” means all property owned, operated or controlled by any governmental agency, including but not limited to streets, public sidewalks, tree lawns, parks, playgrounds, publicly-owned parking lots, schools, libraries, post offices, municipal transit facilities and other public lands and buildings.

(5) “Solicit” or “soliciting” means to request an immediate donation of money or other thing of value from another person, regardless of the solicitor’s purpose or intended use of the money or other thing of value. The solicitation may be, without limitation, by the spoken, written, or printed word, by gesture or by other means of communication.

(b) No personal shall solicit:

(1) In an aggressive manner;

(2) Within twenty feet of any automated-teller machine without the consent of the owner or other person legally in possession of the machine, provided, however, that when an automated-teller machine is located within an automated-teller machine facility, the distance shall be measured from the entrance or exit of the automated-teller machine facility;

(3) Within twenty feet of a bus stop, rapid-transit shelter, or bus shelter;

(4) Within twenty feet of a line of pedestrians waiting to obtain access to a building or event;

(5) Within twenty feet of the area of the sidewalk used by an outdoor restaurant under a temporary public-right-of-way occupancy permit issued under Chapter 513 of the Codified Ordinances or by a vendor under a permit issued under Chapter 508, Section 675.06, or Section 675.07 of the Codified Ordinances;

(6) Within twenty feet of a valet zone established under Section 451.33 of the Codified Ordinances;

(7) Within fifteen feet of any pay telephone, provided, however, that when a pay telephone is located within a telephone booth or other facility, the distance shall be measured from the entrance or exit of the telephone booth or facility;

(8) Within fifteen feet of the entrance or exit of any public toilet facility;

(9) On public property within ten feet of an entrance to a building; or

(10) On public property within ten feet of an entrance to a parking lot.

(c) Whoever violates division (b)(1) of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree for a first time offense, a misdemeanor of the third degree for a second offense, and misdemeanor of the first degree for a third and subsequent offense. Whoever violates any provision in division (b)(2) through (b)(10) of this section shall be guilty of a minor misdemeanor for a first offense, and a misdemeanor of the fourth degree for a second and subsequent offense. A separate offense shall be deemed committed each day during or on which an offense occurs or continues.

Section 2. That this ordinance is declared to be an emergency measure and, provided it receives the affirmative vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to Council, it shall take effect and be in force immediately upon its passage and approval by the Mayor; otherwise it shall take effect and be in force from and after the earliest period allowed by law.

Directors of Public Safety, Law;

Committees on Public Safety, Legislation, Finance.

4-18-05

FOR: Mayor Campbell

Copyright NEOCH, The Homeless Grapevine #70, May 2005. All Rights