ACLU sues Springfield over panhandling lawsuit

4 years 1 week 1 day ago Friday, December 04 2015 Dec 4, 2015 Friday, December 04, 2015 9:20:00 AM CST December 04, 2015 in News
By: The Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union has sued the city of Springfield over its panhandling ordinance.

The ACLU says in a news release that the ordinance is unconstitutional. The suit was filed Thursday on behalf of 61-year-old Bobby Hunicutt, of Springfield, who was "threatened with criminal charges" after holding a sign asking for money last month on a public sidewalk. The sign read: "Trying to Support My Sick Wife" and "Please help."

The suit said that a couple weeks earlier, a Springfield attorney received a citation for panhandling after he held a sign and accepted donations for the American Cancer Society.

Springfield city spokeswoman Cora Scott didn't immediately return a phone call from The Associated Press.

In October, the city of Bolivar repealed its panhandling ordinance after the ACLU sued.

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