Town of Johnston, RI
Providence County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Johnston 11-12-1985 by Ord. No. 594 (Secs. 17-16 to 17-16.3 of the 1979 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Peace and good order — See Ch. 245.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
LOITERING
Remaining idle in essentially one location, and shall include the concept of spending time idly; to be dilatory; to linger; to stay; to saunter; to delay; to stand around; and shall also include the colloquial expression "hanging around."
PUBLIC PLACE
Any place to which the general public has access and a right to resort for business, entertainment or other lawful purpose, but does not necessarily mean a place devoted solely to the uses of the public. It shall also include the front or immediate area of any store, shop, public and/or private parking lot, restaurant, tavern or other place of business and also public grounds, areas or parks.
It shall be unlawful for any person to loiter, loaf, wander, stand or remain idle either alone or in consort with others in a public place in such manner so as to:
A. 
Obstruct any public street, public highway, public and/or private parking lot, public sidewalk or any other public place or building by hindering or impeding or tending to hinder or impede the free and uninterrupted passage of vehicles, traffic or pedestrians.
B. 
Commit in or upon any public street, public highway, public and/or private parking lot, public sidewalk or any other public place or building any act or thing which is an obstruction or interference to the free and uninterrupted use of property of any business lawfully conducted by anyone in or upon or facing or fronting on any such public and/or private parking lot, public street, public highway, public sidewalk or any other public place or building, all of which prevents the free and uninterrupted ingress, egress and regress therein, thereon and thereto.
C. 
Place sporting equipment accessories or other articles or obstructions on any street or sidewalk within the Town or hinder or delay passersby or persons residing or doing business in the vicinity thereof.
[Added 2-12-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-1]
[Amended 2-12-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-1]
When any person causes, commits or performs any of the acts or conditions enumerated in § 210-2 herein, a police officer or any law enforcement officer shall order that person to stop causing or committing such acts or conditions and shall order that person to move on or disperse. Any person who fails or refuses to obey such orders shall be guilty of a violation of this section.
[Amended 10-19-1988 by Ord. No. 749; 2-12-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-1]
Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter, except where a different penalty has been provided, shall be subject to arrest (misdemeanor, and sent to the Municipal Court), subject to a mandatory fine of $250 and 20 hours of community service for the first offense and a mandatory fine of no less than $500 and 40 hours of community service for each subsequent offense.
[Added 1-13-2014 by Ord. No. 2013-20]
A. 
Purpose and intent. The public purpose of this section is to protect the rights of all peoples to exercise their First Amendment rights as well as the people and/or property of those who chose to be nonparticipating.
B. 
Definitions. As used in this section, the following words and terms shall have the meanings indicated. The meaning of all other terms and words not specifically defined shall be their generally accepted definition.
(1) 
Approaching or speaking to a person, or following a person, before, during or after soliciting, if that conduct is intended or is likely to cause a reasonable person to fear bodily harm to oneself or to another or damage to or loss of property or otherwise to be intimidated into giving money or other thing of value;
(2) 
Continuing to solicit from a person after the person has given a negative response to such soliciting;
(3) 
Intentionally touching or causing physical contact with another person or his or her property without that person's consent in the course of soliciting;
(4) 
Intentionally blocking or interfering with the safe or free passage of a pedestrian or vehicle by any means, including unreasonably causing a pedestrian or vehicle operator to take evasive action to avoid physical contact;
(5) 
Using violent or threatening language and/or gestures toward a person being solicited, or toward their property, which are likely to provoke an immediate violent reaction from the person being solicited;
(6) 
Following the person being solicited, with the intent of asking that person for money or other things of value;
(7) 
Soliciting money from anyone who is waiting in line for tickets, for entry to a building or for any other purpose;
(8) 
Soliciting in a manner with conduct, words or gestures intended or likely to cause a reasonable person to fear immediate bodily harm, danger or damage to or loss of property or otherwise be intimidated into giving money or any other thing of value;
(9) 
Begging in a group of two or more persons in an intimidating fashion;
(10) 
Soliciting any person within 20 feet of the entrance to, or parking area of, any bank, automated teller machine, automated teller machine facility, check-cashing business, mass transportation facility, mass transportation stop, public restroom, pay telephone or theater or place of public assembly, or of any outdoor seating area of any cafe, restaurant or other business;
(11) 
Soliciting any person in public after dark, which shall mean the time from 1/2 hour before sunset to 1/2 hour after sunrise.
AUTOMATED TELLER MACHINE
A device, linked to a financial institution's account records, which is able to carry out transactions, including but not limited to account transfers, deposits, cash withdrawals, balance inquiries, and mortgage and loan payments which are made available to banking customers.
AUTOMATED TELLER MACHINE FACILITY
The area comprised of one or more automatic teller machines, and any adjacent space which is made available to banking customers during and after regular banking hours.
BANK
The building of a financial establishment that invests money deposited by customers, pays it out when required, makes loans at interest, and exchanges currency.
BEG or BEGGING or PANHANDLING
Shall be synonymous and shall mean asking for money or objects of value, with the intention that the money or object be transferred at that time and at that place.
CHECK-CASHING BUSINESS
Any building where persons may cash checks in the ordinary course of business.
PUBLIC PLACE
A place to which the public has access, including but not limited to a place which a governmental entity has title, any street open to public use, bridge, sidewalk, walkway, driveway, parking lot, plaza, transportation facility, school, park, or playground, and the doorways and entrances to building and dwellings.
SOLICIT or SOLICITING
Shall include using the spoken, written, or printed word, bodily gestures, signs, or other means of communication with the purpose of obtaining an immediate donation of money or other thing of value the same as begging or panhandling and also include the offer to immediately exchange and/or sell any goods or services.
C. 
Prohibited activity. It shall be unlawful for any person to beg, panhandle or solicit any other person in an aggressive manner. Any police officer observing any person violating this provision may request or order such person to cease and desist such behavior and may arrest such person if he or she fails to comply with such request or order.
D. 
Penalty. Any person found guilty of violating Subsection C of this ordinance shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $50 for each such day during which the violation is committed, or the Court may impose such community service as it shall determine just in lieu of a monetary fine.