Salzman Claims Victory In Panhandling Lawsuit – September 26, 2012

Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Richard Salzman Press Release (unedited)
Arcata CA- Richard Salzman won his lawsuit against the City of Arcata for its  Aggressive Panhandling Ordinance. The Superior Court agreed with Salzman that the City of Arcata was wrong to conclude that the simple act of holding up a sign can qualify as aggressive.
“I think it’s important for people to consider that if you believe in the protection of free speech and in defending our Bill of Rights, then you need to be willing to defend the rights of people you don’t agree with, or find annoying.  Or, in the case of the ACLU defending the Nazis’ right to march in the predominantly Jewish town of Skokie, Illinois, even people you find repulsive.” said Salzman.
Both this lawsuit and one brought by Janelle Egger against Humboldt County for its ordinance restricting protests on Courthouse property are supported in part by the Humboldt Civil Liberties Defense Fund (HCLDF), of which Salzman is a member.
Salzman went on to say, “I was pleased with the ruling in our favor by the Superior Court of California.   The Judicial branch has corrected the overreach of this legislation by a City Council when the court found it to be an infringement on the Constitutional Rights of free speech.”
“I along with the other members of the HCLDF intend to stay vigil in our ongoing defense of the Constitution of The United States.  If you wish to support our efforts, please go to

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4 Responses to “Salzman Claims Victory In Panhandling Lawsuit – September 26, 2012”

  1. I want his spare change.

  2. Jason Barnes


  3. Who told who which law was unconstitutional and illegal?
    I wonder which other laws that someone has been saying are illegal and unconstitutional won't stand the scrutiny of the courts..

  4. Rob Walker

    Typically, governments wishing to illegally restrict the rights of the citizenry — even when such legislative intents are denounced and established as unconstitutional — they move forward with the hope that no one will fight the legislation.

    In this particular case, without the legal assistance of HCLDF, an victim of the legislation (a panhandler) would have little hope of fighting the action. There should be something in place to make legislative bodies give more consideration to the constitutionality of their actions.
    Obviously, a City Attorney isn't enough because in this case, the CA most certainly knew of case law prohibiting the the restrictions, and yet moved forward at the direction of the Council.

    If there were penalties proscribed to protect the citizenry from undue legal ramblings of City employees' infringement issues, we would see less of this. Just as the County Ordinance limiting political donations failed, so too must limits on speech here.

    What a waste of resources to continue to pass these ridiculous and clearly unconstitutional ordinances. I bet the cost of the legal proceedings alone is more than panhandlers get combined over the course of a year.


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