Judge sides with homeless couple in Missouri suit

3 years 4 months 6 days ago Wednesday, October 15 2014 Oct 15, 2014 Wednesday, October 15, 2014 10:41:00 AM CDT October 15, 2014 in News
By: The Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A federal judge has awarded a homeless couple $5,000 after they were forced to leave a small southeast Missouri town under threat of arrest.

U.S. District Judge Stephen Limbaugh Jr. issued a consent judgment Tuesday against the city of Miner and an unidentified police officer. The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit in December on behalf of Edward Gillespie and Brandalyn Orchard.

The ACLU says the couple was standing at a busy intersection in September 2013 holding a sign that read, "Traveling. Anything helps. God bless." A Miner police officer told them to leave, citing a city ordinance prohibiting vagrancy, begging and loitering in the town of about 1,000 residents.

The ordinance has since been revised.

Messages seeking comment from city officials were not immediately returned.

 

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