Draper agrees to not enforce panhandling law pending lawsuit outcome

Published: Tuesday, June 19 2012 4:22 p.m. MDT

DRAPER — Draper officials have agreed to not enforce a state panhandling law pending the outcome of a lawsuit filed against the city.

Salt Lake civil rights attorney Brian Barnard filed a complaint in U.S. District Court last week, alleging that Draper police continue to issue citations under a state statute that a federal judge deemed unconstitutional.

The suit was filed on behalf of Steve Ray Evans, a homeless and unemployed Salt Lake County man whom Draper authorities have prosecuted numerous times.

Police officers told Evans as recently as this month that panhandling is illegal in Utah and indicated they will continue to enforce the law, Barnard said earlier.

U.S. District Judge Ted Stewart struck down the law in March, saying it's so broad that it could prohibit children from selling lemonade in their neighborhoods. He ruled that the actions of four panhandlers, including Evans, cited by Salt Lake police and the Utah Highway Patrol were protected under the First Amendment.

Dennis Romboy

Twitter: dennisromboy

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