State Laws Affecting Rights of Assembly

Some municipalities in every state require interested individuals to file for a permit to hold a parade or other gathering on public property. These ordinances are often the subject of litigation regarding alleged infringement on First Amendment rights of peaceful assembly. Antiloitering statutes are also commonplace, though several of these have been challenged on First Amendment grounds as well. Whether a specific ordinance, statute, or official action constitutes a violation of the First Amendment depends largely on the specific facts of the case or the specific language of the statute or ordinance.

ALABAMA: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade in public streets. A number of these ordinances have been attacked on First Amendment grounds, and some ordinances have been found to be in violation of First Amendment rights. The state’s criminal laws prohibit loitering, including begging and criminal solicitation.

ARIZONA: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade in public streets. The state’s criminal laws prohibit loitering, including begging and criminal solicitation.

ARKANSAS: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade in public streets. Some of these ordinances have been attacked on First Amendment grounds, and some ordinances have been found to be in violation of First Amendment rights. The state’s criminal laws prohibit loitering.

CALIFORNIA: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade in public streets. A number of these ordinances have been attacked on First Amendment grounds, and some ordinances have been found to be in violation of First Amendment rights. The state’s criminal laws prohibit loitering, and these laws have generally been upheld in First Amendment challenges.

COLORADO: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade in public streets. A number of these ordinances have been attacked on First Amendment grounds, and some ordinances have been found to be in violation of First Amendment rights. The state requires a permit for parties to use the state capitol building grounds. The state’s criminal laws prohibit loitering, including begging and criminal solicitation. The Colorado Supreme Court held that the state’s loitering statute was unconstitutional; this statute was subsequently modified.

DELAWARE: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade in public streets. The state’s criminal laws prohibit loitering, including begging, criminal solicitation, and loitering on public school grounds.

FLORIDA: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade in public streets. The state’s criminal laws regarding loitering have been the subject of several lawsuits. These laws make it a crime to loiter or prowl in a place, at a time or in a manner not usual for a law-abiding individual.

GEORGIA: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade in public streets. A number of these ordinances have been attacked on First Amendment grounds, and some ordinances have been found to be in violation of First Amendment rights. The state’s criminal laws regarding loitering have been the subject of several lawsuits. These laws make it a crime to loiter or prowl in a place, at a time, or in a manner not usual for a law-abiding individual.

HAWAII: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade in public streets. The state’s criminal laws prohibit loitering for solicitation of prostitution.

IDAHO: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade in public streets.

ILLINOIS: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade in public streets or public assembly. A number of these ordinances have been attacked on First Amendment grounds, and some ordinances have been found to be in violation of First Amendment rights. The state statutes permit municipalities to prohibit vagrancy, and loitering is prohibited in the state by criminal statute.

INDIANA: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade in public streets. Criminal gang activity is a separate offense under state criminal laws.

IOWA: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade in public streets. The state provides specific laws prohibiting loitering and other congregation on election days near polling places.

KANSAS: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade in public streets.

KENTUCKY: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade in public streets. The state’s criminal laws prohibit loitering for the purpose of engaging in criminal activity.

LOUISIANA: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade in public streets. The state’s criminal laws prohibit vagrancy and loitering, though these statutes have been attacked on First Amendment grounds several times.

MAINE: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade in public streets.

MARYLAND: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade or other public assembly in public streets or areas. The state’s criminal laws prohibits loitering or loafing around a business establishment licensed to sell alcohol.

MASSACHUSETTS: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade in public streets, though a number of these ordinances have been the subject to challenges on First Amendment grounds. The state’s criminal laws prohibit loitering in some specific venues, such as railway centers.

MICHIGAN: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade in public streets. A number of these ordinances have been attacked on First Amendment grounds, and some ordinances have been found to be in violation of First Amendment rights.

MINNESOTA: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade, march, or other form of procession on public streets and other areas. The state’s criminal laws prohibit vagrancy, including some instances of loitering.

MISSISSIPPI: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade in public streets. A number of these ordinances have been attacked on First Amendment grounds, and some ordinances have been found to be in violation of First Amendment rights.

MISSOURI: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade in public streets. The state’s criminal laws prohibit vagrancy, including some instances of loitering.

MONTANA: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade in public streets. The state’s criminal laws prohibit vagrancy and loitering around public markets.

NEBRASKA: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade in public streets. The state’s criminal laws prohibit loitering in specified venues.

NEVADA: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade in public streets. The state’s criminal laws prohibit loitering around schools and other areas where children congregate. The state permits municipalities to enact ordinances to prohibit loitering.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade in public streets. The state’s criminal laws prohibit loitering and prowling in specified circumstances.

NEW JERSEY: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade in public streets. A number of these ordinances have been attacked on First Amendment grounds, and some ordinances have been found to be in violation of First Amendment rights. The state’s criminal laws prohibit loitering for the purpose of soliciting criminal activity or in public transportation terminals.

NEW YORK: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade in public streets. A number of these ordinances have been attacked on First Amendment grounds, and some ordinances have been found to be in violation of First Amendment rights. The state has enacted a number of laws prohibiting loitering, including loitering for the purpose of soliciting passengers for transportation, loitering for the purpose of criminal solicitation, and loitering in public transportation centers. The statute permits municipalities to enact ordinances prohibiting loitering. Several of the antiloitering laws have been the subject of litigation attacking the laws on First Amendment grounds.

NORTH DAKOTA: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade or other processions in public streets.

OHIO: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade or engage in the solicitation of business. The state’s criminal laws prohibit loitering in public transportation centers and in polling centers during elections.

OKLAHOMA: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade in public streets. The state’s criminal laws prohibit loitering for the purpose of engaging in specified criminal acts.

OREGON: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade in public streets. Some municipalities also require a noise permit when playing amplified noise in a public place.

PENNSYLVANIA: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade in public streets. A number of these ordinances have been attacked on First Amendment grounds, and some ordinances have been found to be in violation of First Amendment rights. The state’s criminal laws prohibit loitering for the purpose of engaging in specified criminal acts.

RHODE ISLAND: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade in public streets. The state’s criminal laws prohibit loitering for indecent purposes, loitering in public transportation centers, and loitering at or near schools.

SOUTH CAROLINA: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade in public streets. The state’s laws prohibit loitering in public transportation centers.

TENNESSEE: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade on public streets. The state’s criminal laws prohibit loitering for the purpose of engaging in specified criminal acts.

TEXAS: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade on public streets. The state’s laws prohibit loitering in polling centers during elections.

UTAH: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade on public streets.

VERMONT: The state’s laws prohibit loitering in public transportation centers and other public property.

WASHINGTON: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade or march on public streets. The state’s laws prohibit loitering in public transportation centers.

WEST VIRGINIA: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade on public streets. The state’s laws prohibit loitering at or near school property.

WISCONSIN: Several municipalities require that interested parties file for a permit to hold a parade on public streets. The state’s laws prohibit loitering in public transportation centers.


Inside State Laws Affecting Rights of Assembly