Submitted by Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
Today we feature the City of Everett, Washington, a city with a few rather interesting municipal codes. Several ordinances on the book should serve as both lessons in unconstitutionality and comic relief. From prohibitions on certain public gatherings, to regulations on ducks to criminal impersonation of crossing guards, Everett can bring an assortment of entertainment for the unsuspecting tourist.
Our first entry is, appropriately, in violation of the First Amendment. Everett minces no words when it comes to its views on peaceful assembly:
No person shall, in the city, in or upon either Colby Avenue, Hewitt Avenue, or that part of Wetmore Avenue between Hewitt Avenue and Pacific Avenue, nor upon any public street or alley or other place within one block either north or south of Hewitt Avenue between the east line of Broadway and the west line of Grand Avenue, make any public address or hold any public meeting, or loiter in said streets at such meeting, or expose for sale any goods, wares or merchandise, or erect or maintain any booth, stand or tent for such purposes. (Prior code § 6.44.010)
9.50.020 Penalty for violations.
Any person violating any of the provisions or failing to comply with any of the mandatory requirements of this chapter shall upon conviction of such violation or failure be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment not to exceed six months or by both such fine and imprisonment. (Ord. 293-74 § 2 (part), 1974; prior code § 6.44.020)
The downtown area is not a Free Speech Zone. It’s a Free Speech Free Zone.
It’s not just freedom of assembly. We know of no better place to show future generations freedom of the press in our Great Republic than near Everett schools:
A. It is unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to distribute or circulate or offer to distribute or circulate any handbills, tickets, coupons, trading stamps, circulars, or any other form of advertising matter on or within two blocks of any public school ground in the city.
B. Provided however, that the provisions hereof shall not be construed so as to prohibit such distribution or circulation on any portion of Hewitt Avenue. (Prior code § 6.24.010)
9.48.020 Penalty for violations.
Succinctly, the penalty is up to $500.00 fine and up to six months in jail. Remember children, the Free Speech Free Zone on Hewitt Avenue, it doesn’t apply to handbills. So print it up, just make sure you are alone when you distribute it.
Students, be sure when you get your driver license not to drive more than twice past the same point in some parts of town or else it might be a crime.
A. No person shall drive or permit a motor vehicle under his care, custody or control to be driven past a traffic-control point more than two times in the same direction of travel within a two-hour period in or around a posted “no cruising” area.
B. On the major streets or alleys of a “no cruising” area there shall be posted a sign which shall read substantially as follows:
NO CRUISING AREA
City Ordinance No. 1396-87
C. A traffic-control point as used in this section means any point or points within the “no cruising” area established by the police department for the purpose of monitoring cruising.
D. No violation shall occur except upon the third passage in the same direction of travel past the same traffic-control point within the aforementioned two-hour period.
E. No area shall be designated or posted as a “no cruising” area except upon the passage of a resolution by the city council specifically mandating such designation and posting for a particular area.
F. Buses, taxicabs and emergency vehicles shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter. Further, it shall be an affirmative defense that the vehicle was operated for business purposes.
G. Cruising is a misdemeanor and may be punished by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars. (Ord. 1396-87 § 1, 1987)
Forget the federal Stolen Valor Act, you don’t need to falsely claim you won the Medal of Honor to be arrested in Everett. You can just wear your dad’s army shirt.
It is unlawful for any person not an officer or enlisted man of the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps or Coast Guard, to wear the uniform thereof, or any distinctive part of such uniform or a uniform any part of which is similar to a distinctive part of the duly prescribed uniform thereof; provided, that the foregoing provision shall not be construed to apply to any person authorized to wear such uniform by the laws of the United States, and in particular Section 125 of the National Defense Act as amended (10 U.S.C.A., Section 1393). (Prior code § 6.52.010)
9.04.020 Penalty for violations.
Three hundred dollar fine or ninety days in jail.
Thankfully, Everett does not stop there. Your children are at risk from crossing guard wannabes.
It is unlawful for any person not duly appointed and sworn in as civilian crossing guard to impersonate such officer or to wear, carry or display the badge, designated dress, or insignia of such civilian crossing guards. (Prior code § 1.84.070)
2.40.070 Penalty for violations.
Five hundred dollar fine and six months in jail
Schools are designated in Washington as being Weapon Free Zones. Some truly fearsome weapons were wielded by marauding youth in the past, so the city council stepped in and put an end to this menace.
The use of B.B. guns, slingshots, bean-shooters or any like appliance or apparatus is hereby forbidden in the city and none of them shall be discharged within the city, either on public streets or places, or on private property; provided that it shall not be unlawful to use or discharge said appliance or apparatus mentioned in this section on any range or field designated for the use and discharge of such appliance or apparatus by public authorities. (Prior code § 6.04.010)
9.86.020 Penalty for violations.
Five hundred dollars and six months in jail.
The youth are not the only ones targeted by the City of Everett, the elderly are also: Criminal Duck Feeding
No person shall feed water fowl or deposit or leave any foodstuff of any kind or nature on public property within one thousand feet of the shoreline of Silver Lake save and except in a receptacle provided by the city for that purpose. (Ord. 1557-89 § 1, 1989)
A misdemeanor carrying a three hundred dollar fine.
The most bizarre is yet to come folks: Do not use hypnotized men as advertisements.
It is unlawful for any hypnotist or mesmerist, or other person, to exhibit or display, or permit to be exhibited or displayed, any subject of any hypnotist or mesmerist, or any person while under the influence of or alleged influence of hypnotism or mesmerism, in any window or public place outside of the hall or theater where such hypnotist or mesmerist is giving his entertainment or exhibition. (Prior code § 6.26.010)
9.24.020 Penalty for violations.
Five hundred dollars and six months in jail.
If you are in the Pacific Northwest, Everett, Washington is a great tourist destination. Vacancies are available in the local Gray Bar Hotel. Just don’t feed the ducks.
By Darren Smith
The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.