In 2013, the City of Boise enacted a Public Solicitation Ordinance that targeted people living in poverty. The ordinance would have made it a crime to ask for money in public throughout much of downtown Boise. Along with the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, we successfully challenged the law and won an injunction preventing the law from ever going into effect

After the ordinance was first proposed by the City, the ACLU of Idaho actively campaigned to notify the public of the content and implications of the ordinance so that individuals could weigh in on the debate. Many people from throughout the area attended the hearing and voiced their opinions about the detrimental impact the passage of the ordinance would have on them and other less fortunate members of the community. Although we expressly warned the City Council that the ordinance was unconstitutional, the Council passed the new law anyhow.

We filed a federal lawsuit challenging the ordinance in November 2013 and by January 2, 2014, the federal court ruled that the ordinance was probably unconstitutional and enjoined the City from enforcing it. The City Council repealed the ordinance shortly after that ruling.


Ritchie Eppink, Eric Tars

Date filed

November 4, 2013


United States District Court for the District of Idaho


Edward J. Lodge



Case number