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Calabasas Overturns Law Restricting Street-Side Solicitors

A recent court case on a similar Redondo Beach ordinance was ruled an unconstitutional restriction on day laborers' and other persons’ First Amendment rights.

A law that barred day laborers from asking for work and other solicitors from Calabasas roadways and street corners was overturned Wednesday by the Calabasas City Council.

In a 5-0 vote, the council voted to overturn the law because of a recent court case, with Councilwoman Lucy Martin voting through a teleconference from Pittsburgh.

The now-defunct ordinance stated:

Solicitation of persons traveling in vehicles on public right-of-way prohibited.

It is unlawful for any person, while standing in any portion of the public right-of-way, including but not limited to public streets, highways, sidewalks and driveways, to solicit, or attempt to solicit, employment, business, or contributions of money or other property, from any person traveling in a vehicle along a public right-of-way, including, but not limited to, public streets, highways or driveways.

The city received a letter on March 20, along with a number of other cities, from the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund asking for the repeal of street side solicitation regulations, according to a city staff report prepared by Calabasas City Attorney Scott Howard. 

A recent court case on a similar Redondo Beach ordinance was ruled an unconstitutional restriction on day laborers' and other persons’ First Amendment rights.

"The court noted the city had failed to provide sufficient evidence of problems caused by day laborers or other street side solicitors to justify either a city-wide ban," Howard wrote in the report.

According to Howard, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, which contracts with Calabasas for its policing services, reported "there is no significant problem associated with street side solicitors in the city."

Calabasas City Manager Tony Coroalles said the law was originally adopted in 1995 and most likely mirrored a section of the Los Angeles County code.

Rick Petitfils August 24, 2012 at 12:34 AM
Why does our council bow to the likes of the antiamerican groups? There cowards thats why. I sure hope your daughters aren't attacked by the illegals that will come to our once great city.
Someone August 24, 2012 at 03:43 AM
Just another reason to move to The Bay Area (San Francisco)
Anony August 24, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Come on! How about for safety of the children in the area we don't need people by the road asking for money and soliciting.
Trew August 25, 2012 at 02:31 PM
The rights of these people, who most likely suffer from minor mental and psychological disabilities, to ask, beg and/or demand money from citizens on a public thoroughfare was not envisioned nor granted by the founding fathers of this country. The enabling of people to demand unearned money not only weakens our community, city, state, and country, but tears at the civic industry which once made our country one of the greatest in the world, as well as allowing those people to deteriorate into even less useful members of society.
Terry Stobie August 27, 2012 at 10:41 PM
We Ban all kind of things (Smoking, bags, signs, medical marijuana) I never heard the argument that "The city did not provide sufficient evidence of problems" Did we provide evidence of problems in all our other bans, I don't think so. Does the city just shoot from the hip and really has no legal standing in these other so called Bans. To bad only illegals have defense funds, the rest of the tax paying citizens just have to suck up all these stupid restrictions on our freedoms

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