the Florida Justice Institute (FJI), in partnership with Fort Lauderdale lawyers Mara Shlackman and Frantz J. McLawrence, filed a lawsuit challenging the City of Pompano Beach’s anti-panhandling ordinance as an unconstitutional restriction of free speech. The Ordinance prohibits the solicitation of donations, business, or sales during certain times and at certain intersections, and otherwise requires compliance with 21 onerous regulations—including completing a roadway safety course, wearing a brightly colored protective vest, erecting a warning sign, and displaying an identification number—or be subject to arrest, fines, or imprisonment. The law does not impose these restrictions on any other forms of speech. The suit seeks an immediate declaration that the law violates the First Amendment and is impermissibly vague under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
After the lawsuit was filed, the City repealed some of the challenged portions of the ordinance, but Plaintiff believes the new versions are still unconstitutional. The case will proceed to trial on one remaining portion of the ordinance.