Panhandlers free to solicit again in Draper
Panhandlers no longer have to worry about being cited for solicitation while standing on public sidewalks and asking for handouts or help in Draper.
In a settlement approved by a federal court judge on Friday, the city said it will no longer enforce its panhandling statute or prosecute any criminal cases, including previously filed cases, based on the law. The city may pursue cases that include other violations, the order states.
Draper's law is based on a state statute that U.S. District Court Judge Ted Stewart ruled in March was too broad and unconstitutionally infringed on free speech rights.
That law says: A person may not sit, stand or loiter on or near a roadway for the purpose of soliciting from the occupant of a vehicle: a ride, contributions, employment, the parking, watching, or guarding of a vehicle; or other business.
But Draper continued to cite panhandlers under the law.
In June, civil rights attorney Brian Barnard sued the city on behalf of Steve Ray Evans, whom Draper police had cited numerous times. In the settlement, Draper also agreed to pay Evans and Barnard's firm a yet-to-be determined sum within 10 days.