Trial begins Monday (November 19) in ACLU challenge to Oklahoma City panhandling ordinance

OKLAHOMA CITY —  Attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma and Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma begin trial in federal court (the Western District of Oklahoma)  on November 19 at 10 a.m. 

The legal action seeks to overturn an Oklahoma City municipal ordinance that bans panhandling and other forms speech from public medians. 

Trial is scheduled for November 19, 20, 26, and 27. 

ACLU of Oklahoma filed suit in April of 2016 in response to an ordinance passed by Oklahoma City Council intended, a release form the group contends, “to hide Oklahoma City’s homeless population from public sight.”

The ordinance criminalizes panhandling and assigns a $100 fine to anyone sitting, standing, or staying in public medians. The ACLU believes that restricting any form of speech in public spaces like medians or street corners plainly violates the free expression of Oklahoma City residents. 

Read more about McCraw, et al. v. City of Oklahoma City here: