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.

Status Update

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 brief on June 28, 2019. The City filed an answer and an opposition to the damages and preliminary injunction on September 11, 2019. The parties had a status conference before Judge Polster on September 20. On September 20, an attorney from the Civil Litigation Clinic at the Cleveland-Marshall School of Law entered an appearance on behalf of Mr. Workman.

On September 23, 2019, the Court denied Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction, but then vacated its order and ordered additional briefing from plaintiff and amicus ACLU of Ohio. We and Plaintiff both filed replies to Defendants’ Opposition to Preliminary Injunction on October 3. On October 8 the court ordered Defendants to respond by October 18, 2019, unless parties chose to discuss settlement.

The parties notified the Court they had reached a settlement on November 13.

Date filed

June 27, 2019