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Tag Archives: Ordinance

Railroad beats fine for ugly bridge (access required)

The Midlands city of Cayce fined a freight carrier under a criminal ordinance for not painting a railroad bridge (pictured), but the company hadn't violated the ordinance because a federal law preempted it, the S.C. Supreme Court ruled. The law trumped the ordinance even though the two were not in direct conflict, the court said.

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Municipal – Constitutional – Ordinance – Disturbing Persons – Street Preacher – Overbroad (access required)

City of Greenville v. Bane. Greenville Code § 24-32(3) makes it unlawful to "molest or disturb any person by the making of obscene remarks or such remarks and actions as would humiliate, insult, or scare any person. ..." Since the words that humiliate, insult or scare one person may not have the same effect on another person, people of common intelligence may be forced to guess at the provision's meaning and may differ as to its applicability. We find subsection (3) is unconstitutional because it is facially vague. The city failed to prove defendant violated any other subsection of § 24-32, so the defendant was entitled to a directed verdict as to the other subsections. We reverse defendant's conviction.

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Justices toss Greenville street preacher’s ‘disturbance’ conviction (access required)

The S.C. Supreme Court struck down a Greenville city prohibition against comments that "humiliate," "insult" and "scare" people, ruling it was too vague to be enforced and overturning the conviction of a man arrested while preaching against homosexuality. Samuel Harms (pictured), a Greenville lawyer who represented Bane, said the police officer testified that she arrested Bane because he was preaching against homosexuality. The officer testified she spent about an hour telling the preacher "what he could say under the city code and what he could not say under the city code," Harms said. "This is nothing more than the city of Greenville taking sides in the cultural debate over homosexuality, and they've sided with the homosexuals and they want to shut down any Christians that want to preach that homosexuality is a sin," Harms said.

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