City ordered to pay $330K to lawyers in panhandling case
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ A federal judge has ordered the city of Springfield to pay more than $330,000 to civil rights attorneys who represented two panhandlers in the legal fight over anti-panhandling laws in the city.
The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports the order came after the 2007 panhandling ban in downtown Springfield was found to have violated the panhandlers’ First Amendment rights.
City attorney Jim Zerkle says Springfield will look to see whether it can extend the payments to the Chicago attorneys over 10 years. The city has already paid the panhandlers, Karen Otterson and Don Norton, $2,500 each under an agreement to dismiss the case.
A federal appeals court struck down part of the 2007 ordinance prohibiting a verbal request for a monetary donation, saying it infringed on the First Amendment.
Information from: The State Journal-Register