Free Speech on the Docket

Workman v. Chardon Amicus

Read our June 28, 2019 amicus brief in this case. 


Jonathan Edward Workman is a pro se plaintiff who filed a case in federal court in the Northern District of Ohio on April 17, 2019 challenging the City of Chardon’s enforcement of Ordinance §509.12, which criminalizes begging and charitable solicitation throughout the City. As part of a statewide letter campaign, the ACLU had sent a letter to Chardon in August 2018, informing it of the Constitutional defects of its anti-begging law. The City declined to repeal the law, choosing instead to enforce it against Mr. Workman, who then filed his suit.

Legal Theory:

We have filed an amicus brief in district court supporting Workman’s position by directing the Court to controlling precedent relevant cases, including Speet v. Schuette, 726 F.3d 867, 879 (6th Cir. 2013), in which the Sixth Circuit struck down a substantively identical law for violating the First Amendment.
Amicus participation in this case supports our on-going work in enforcing the First Amendment speech rights of individuals asking for donations by eliminating Ohio’s remaining, atavistic anti-panhandling laws.


We filed our Motion for leave to file an Amicus Brief on June 27, 2019. The Court granted us leave that same day, and we filed our Amicus Brief on June 28, 2019.