Questions Posted to "Ask a Dispatcher"
Q. Is panhandling illegal in Juneau? My rotaract club wants to do "Panhandling for Polio" (an Rotary international project)this summer.
Dear Juneau Resident,
Rotaract Rocks! Raising money to finally stamp out Polio every where in the world is such a good cause. You certainly can do your fundraiser in Juneau because here panhandling is legal with some restrictions. I'll attach the CBJ panhandling ordinance below.
Most of the limits on panhandling are common sense. There is no panhandling after dark. Stay away from banks and ATMs and business entrances. Don't block people's paths or touch them. Finally, if someone doesn't donate, a cheery 'Have a nice day!' is acceptable, cursing at the person or calling them names is not.
Here is the whole ordinance:
42.20.200 - Panhandling restricted.
As used in this section, "panhandling" means any solicitation made in person upon any street, sidewalk, public place or park in the City and Borough, in which a person requests an immediate donation of money or other gratuity from another person, and includes but is not limited to seeking donations:
By vocal appeal or for music, singing, or other street performance; and
Where the person being solicited receives an item of little or no monetary value in exchange for a donation, under circumstances where a reasonable person would understand that the transaction is in substance a donation.
It shall be unlawful to engage in an act of panhandling on any day after sunset, or before sunrise.
It shall be unlawful to engage in an act of panhandling when either the panhandler or the person being solicited is located at any of the following locations: at a bus stop; in any public transportation vehicle or public transportation facility; in a vehicle which is parked or stopped on a public street or alley; within 20 feet in any direction from an automatic teller machine or entrance to a bank; or within ten feet of any entrance to a building or crosswalk.
It shall be unlawful to engage in an act of panhandling in an aggressive manner, including any of the following actions:
Touching the solicited person without the solicited person's consent;
Blocking the path of a person being solicited, or the entrance to any building or vehicle;
Following behind, ahead, or alongside a person who walks away from the panhandler after being solicited;
Using profane or abusive language, either during the solicitation or following a refusal to make a donation, or making any statement, gesture, or other communication which would cause a reasonable person to be fearful or feel compelled; or
Panhandle in a manner that obstructs pedestrian or vehicular traffic. As used in this section, "obstruct pedestrian or vehicular traffic" means to walk, stand, sit, lie, or place an object in such a manner as to block passage by another person or a vehicle, or to require another person or a driver of a vehicle to take evasive action to avoid physical contact. Acts authorized as an exercise of one's constitutional right to picket or to legally protest, and acts authorized by a CBJ permit, shall not constitute obstruction of pedestrian or vehicular traffic.
Each act of panhandling restricted by this section shall constitute a public nuisance and separate violation of this code. Violation of this section is an infraction.