The Laws Of Everett, Washington: The Unconstitutional And The Bizarre

Submitted by Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

everett-logoToday 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:

tr-speech9.50.010 Public gatherings restricted.

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:

handbill-distribution9.48.010 Handbill distribution near 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.

drag-racer-flames46.48.010 Cruising.

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:


City Ordinance No. 1396-87

Maximum Penalty—$1,000

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.

john-lennon-army-uniform9.04.010 Unlawful wearing of uniform.

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.

crossing-guard2.40.060 Impersonating guard prohibited.

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.

dm-slingshot9.86.010 Use of B.B. guns, slingshots, etc.

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

darry-duck-hot-dogChapter 8.52 FEEDING DUCKS
8.52.010 Feeding water fowl near Silver Lake prohibited.

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)
8.52.020 Violation—Penalty.

A misdemeanor carrying a three hundred dollar fine.

The most bizarre is yet to come folks: Do not use hypnotized men as advertisements.

mystic-man9.24.010 Hypnotism unlawful.

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


Everett Municipal Code

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.

40 thoughts on “The Laws Of Everett, Washington: The Unconstitutional And The Bizarre”

  1. We have too much govt. and too many layers of govt. We could cut ALL govt. in half and there would be no discernible difference, save many unskilled, lazy, govt. union workers looking for an easy job w/ great benefits. Oh, they will whine and protest a bit but learn quickly the hard working private sector are fed up w/ them.

  2. Reblogged this on Awakestate and commented:
    I’d would like to point out a key word in all or at least, most, of those statutes – “shall” – I suspect, the ATTORNEYS that helped draft the language knew, that these statutes would be unconstitutional, which is why they used the word “shall” everywhere. Shall = sometime in the future. “No person, sometime in the future (shall) loiter” – “No person, sometime in the future, go above the posted speed limit” – When confronted by a Corporate Policy Enforcer (Police), ask him if he/she is an expert in the interpretation of the law and how many elements in a valid cause of action. His/her answers will most likely reveal that they know nothing about the LAW.

  3. 9.24.010 Hypnotism unlawful.

    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 …”

    They outlawed the trance of culture.

    But, like lying upheld by the Supremes (Alvarez), we have a right as a culture to be in the cultural trance we (and they) are in (Comparing a Group-Mind Trance to a Cultural Amygdala).

  4. Very interesting Darren. I do hope that most of these “laws” are old dinosaurs, but it seems every city has some old relics that they do not want to get rid of. They like to pull them out during protests and demonstrations in order to disrupt the free speech rights of the demonstrators. Carbondale, Illinois has one in May of 1970 that made it unlawful to be in a group of more than two people. I was a victim of that ridiculous law, but thankfully the judge at trial agreed that it was unconstitutional. Not to mention, just plain stupid and unenforceable.

  5. Karen S,

    I agree with both of those possibilities. I am always skeptical of short videos, especially with the ability to insert audio to go along with the video at a later time. However, it is my understanding that MRI and EEG results support signs of brain activity. It will be really interesting to see how this all plays out.

    Three physicians, including a court-appointed one, declared this girl to be brain dead. Is the criteria used to determine brain death, at the very least, flawed?

  6. Jack:

    Poor Jahi and her family.

    My thought is there are 2 possibilities. The first is that the family subconsciously anticipates when her foot will move on its own, and only thinks she is responding to stimuli. The second is that her brain tissue was not actually dead, but rather the electrical signals were too faint to be detected. I have heard of that before. A dead brain cannot come back to life, however, it is possible that it had sub detectable activity. If she was alive but in a vegetative state, she could not respond to verbal commands. So IF the second possibility is true AND she is actually responding to verbal cues, she’s in there somewhere.

    I am hoping for the second, but they’ll have to investigate further.

  7. Articles like this expose how absolutely idiotic some ideas are. Such as “genetic predisposition to crime” and like malarkey. Applying to genetics to social constructs is simply neo-eugenics.

  8. Are these municipal codes relics of the past, that no one ever got around to changing, or are these recent?

    Their jails must be full of hooligan duck feeders.

    This reminds me of an article I read not too long ago where a city suddenly realized it still had an ordinance against certain positions in the ahem marital bed. Who used to enforce THAT?

  9. Darren,

    Sorry to put this off-topic information on your thread, but from a legal standpoint I find this fascinating:

    Late last year this girl was declared “brain dead”, meaning “irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem“. Now a court in California is being petitioned to rescind the death certification, based on observed responses to verbal command, MRI, and EEG results.

  10. DBQ, LOL! Like yourself, I read left. right, and center news. HuffPo has more cookies and ad ons than Keebler. Annoying as hell.

  11. Very funny. Some of these sound like very old laws that have been ignored or left on the books. Especially the term mesmerist. Makes you wonder too….how many illegal crossing guard incidents happened to make that a necessary law.

    This is one of the problems with myopic government and government officials. They make new laws and rarely if ever review the old ones and remove laws that are obsolete.

    Including a link so that docmadison won’t feel icky reading it.

  12. Well, I see on the sidebar JT will be eating arancini soon! Good for him. Going to your familial roots is important.

  13. Darren, Great post. When I taught current events for high school seniors it was the nascent years of the internet. I had each student adopt a city outside Wi., read the local paper online, and give a brief, verbal report, on a news story of the day, in that city. Your interesting reports on the state of Washington reminds of those days. I’m not sure the Washington Convention and Visitor’s Bureau approves.

  14. Good column.

    The totalitarians are alive and well among us.

    Most bad laws were passed for good reasons (witness the RICO laws); unfortunately, we cannot trust our functionaries with this much power.

  15. Making everything unlawful enables the power elite to control/eliminate dissent. Such tool laws do not apply or are disregarded by them, of course.

  16. Well, without some offense, there would not be a law, so at some point, someone abused some poor hypnotized guy. I do think that most of the ordinances are unconstitutional. Phoenix had a anti-cruising law. Actually it was only used on private property.

    I was gobsmacked to learn their crossing guards were both appointed and sworn in.

  17. What, or who, is behind this Nazi legislation? What is the ethnic composition of this fair city? Do these people have no lawyers who can read and write and stand up in a court of law and speak out for the rights of man? Or woman? Or Dog?
    I would hate to be a guide dog in that town on election day. I probably would not get to vote early and often.

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