Man cited for panhandling sues Sandy

Posted at 4:04 PM, May 07, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-07 19:28:49-04

SANDY, Utah – A man who is homeless is suing Sandy City after police cited him for panhandling, and the man’s attorney says the laws against panhandling are unconstitutional.

Steve Ray Evans was cited for panhandling earlier this year and ordered to stop panhandling in Sandy.

Attorney Stewart Gollan is representing Evans, and Gollan said the citation is a violation of the law.

“This is a clear violation of First Amendment rights,” he told FOX 13 News. “We are asking for an order prohibiting such conduct by the city and its agents in the future.”

Gollan said their lawsuit is based on a 2012 ruling by federal judge Ted Stewart that state and local laws against panhandling are unconstitutional. Gollan said the law depends only on a person saying the wrong words before they can be cited, words like “I need money” or “I need work” or “Homeless. Please help me.”

Gollan has filed and won lawsuits on behalf of Evans in Salt Lake City, Draper and American Fork.