CBS2-Header-Logo WFAN 1010WINS WCBS tiny WLNYLogo

News

New Jersey Town Requires Beggars To Get Permit

Middle Township Cracks Down On Aggressive Begging
No Soliciting sign (credit: Clip Art)

No Soliciting sign (credit: Clip Art)

TRI-STATE NEWS HEADLINES

From our newsroom to your inbox weekday mornings at 9AM.
Sign Up

MIDDLE TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – A southern New Jersey town now requires beggars to obtain permits and seeks to punish those who aggressively solicit donations.

The Middle Township ordinance defines aggressive begging as speaking to or following a person in a manner that would cause them to fear bodily harm or otherwise intimidating someone into giving money or goods.

The ordinance requires those who solicit money to obtain a permit, which is valid for a year and available at no charge. It also forbids solicitation by obstructing a pedestrian or vehicle, near an automated teller machine or bus or train stop, and in exchange for a service.

EXTRA: Read The Full List Of Restrictions (pdf)

Fines start at $250 and include possible jail time.

Police Chief Christopher Leusner told The Press of Atlantic City beggars who are not threatening and comply with the ordinance will not be punished.

“Someone walks by and says, ‘Can you spare a dollar?’ And they thank you, they keep on moving – that’s something that is protected by the First Amendment,” Leusner told the paper. “That’s not what we’re targeting here. These are people that are making people feel unsafe.”

The ordinance will go into effect Oct. 27.

You May Also Be Interested In These Stories:

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)