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Town of New Milford, CT
Litchfield County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. of 5-12-2014]
The purpose of this ordinance is to preserve all persons' right to be free from harassing, disruptive, obstructive and/or intimidating behavior by individuals engaged in panhandling or begging to maintain and protect the physical safety and well-being of the public and to foster a safe and harassment-free climate in public places within the Town of New Milford by curtailing such behavior.
[Ord. of 5-12-2014]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates that a different meaning is intended.
Aggressive panhandling — means:
(a) 
To beg in a manner intended to threaten, intimidate or coerce another person into giving money or goods or a favor.
(b) 
To beg in a manner which a reasonably prudent individual would perceive as threatening, intimidating, obstructive of free passage or coercive.
(c) 
To beg in a manner intended to obstruct or which, regardless of intent, actually obstructs pedestrian or vehicular traffic.
(d) 
To beg in a manner which could deter a reasonably prudent individual from passing through or remaining in or near any thoroughfare, doorway or public place because of fear, concern, contact or apprehension caused by such behavior.
Obstruct pedestrian or vehicular traffic — means to walk, stand, sit, lie or place an object in such a manner as to block or obstruct free passage by another person or a vehicle, or to require another person or a driver of a vehicle to take evasive action to avoid physical contact or to circumvent such obstruction.
Panhandling and begging shall be considered synonymous and means conduct by which a person demands or asks for money or goods or a favor or favors as a charity or gift, or for payment of an unrequested service, whether such conduct is through words, actions, bodily gesture, signs or other means.
Public place — means an area open to or traversable by the general public, including sidewalks, streets, alleys, driveways, parking lots, parks, plazas, buildings and doorways and entrances to buildings.
Public transportation vehicle — means any bus, taxi or train available for use by the general public.
[Ord. of 5-12-2014]
The following activities and conduct are prohibited, and any violation shall be conduct that violates the provisions of this section:
(a) 
No person may engage in aggressive panhandling in any public place within the Town of New Milford. To constitute a violation of this subsection, the violator's conduct must be such that it exhibits a specific intention to threaten, intimidate or coerce the recipient to comply with the violator's request or demand for money or goods or a favor on behalf of the violator or some third person.
(b) 
No person may engage in panhandling or begging in any public transportation vehicle or within 25 feet of any bus or train station or stop.
(c) 
No person may engage in panhandling or begging on school grounds.
(d) 
No person may engage in panhandling or begging within 25 feet of any automatic teller machine.
(e) 
No person may engage in panhandling or begging from the operator or any occupant of a motor vehicle that is in traffic on a public street or in such a manner as to obstruct free passage of any pedestrian or vehicular traffic.
(f) 
No person may engage in panhandling or begging so as to require patrons, customers, clients or patients of any business to take evasive steps to avoid physical contact with the violator while such patron is entering or exiting any place of business.
[Ord. of 5-12-2014]
No provision of this chapter shall be interpreted or construed to prohibit speech, expression or conduct protected by the laws or constitutions of the United States or of the State of Connecticut.
[Ord. of 5-12-2014]
Penalty for violation. Any person violating this section shall be fined not more than $250.