The City of Lowell has informed the American Civil Liberties Union and the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts that it is not currently enforcing Lowell Code of Ordinances Chapter 222, § 222.15, which prohibits all charitable requests in Lowell’s Downtown Historic District, pending a final decision by the Court on the merits of a constitutional challenge to the law.
As matters presently stand, therefore, Lowell residents will be allowed to panhandle peacefully throughout the City during the holiday season.
The City has agreed to announce its intentions with respect to enforcement change.
In February 2014, three men, Randy Copley, Kenneth McLaughlin, and Joshua Wood, assisted by attorneys from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Goodwin Procter LLP, filed suit against the City of Lowell on the grounds that the Ordinance violated their rights to free speech, equal protection, and due process under the United States and Massachusetts constitutions. The case is currently pending before Judge Douglas Woodlock.
A decision in the case is expected in 2015.
For more information about the lawsuit Copley v. Lowell, go to:
For more information about the ACLU of Massachusetts, go to: