Panhandling NOT Against The Law In Everett


Non-Aggressive panhandling is still okay in Everett.

It has not been against the law to panhandle in Everett.

There is a law on the books about aggressive panhandling that imposed a fine but no jail time.

At today’s Everett City Council meeting, council members voted 4 – 2 (with Stonecipher and Gipson against and Roberts absent), to change the city’s aggressive panhandling ordinance as follows…

The city now says it is considered aggressive panhandling if a person:

  • Begs in a manner that intentionally hinders or obstructs the free passage of any person in a public place.
  • By words or actions, begs with intent to intimidate another person into giving money or goods.

Everett will define hinder and obstruct as:

  •  “Hinder or obstruct” means to walk, stand, sit or lie in such a manner as to block or attempt to block or restrict passage by others or to require persons approaching to take evasive action to avoid physical contact.

Everett will define a public place as:

  •  “Public place” is an area generally visible to public view and includes streets, sidewalks, bridges, alleys, plazas, parks, driveways, parking lots and buildings open to the general public, including those that serve food or drink or provide entertainment, and the doorways and entrances to buildings or dwellings and the grounds enclosing them.

Everett will define begging as:

  •  “Beg” or “begging” means to ask for money or goods as a charity, whether by words, bodily gestures, signs, or other means.

Everett will define intimidate as:

  •  “Intimidate” means to engage in conduct that would make a reasonable person fearful or feel compelled.

Aggressive Panhandling in Everett would be a misdemeanor as defined by EMC 10.04.080.

  •  A misdemeanor may be punished by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars, or imprisonment not to exceed ninety days, or by both such imprisonment and fine.

In addition, today’s city council action provides for an education campaign to direct people to the city’s website to see where they can donate to non-profit groups that help those who traditionally have sought money on the streets of Everett.

The council eliminated a provision to establish a city controlled fund where the public could directly donate.

The council also added wording to say they want the focus of law enforcement and prosecution to be on diversion and not fines or jail. (The city attorney is finalizing that wording)

It also instructs the Everett Police Department to work with business owners who don’t want people panhandling on their property on how to use the city’s current trespass laws, post appropriate signage and what actions to take if they want to have someone arrested for trespassing.

So yes you can still panhandle within the city of Everett.


About myeverettnews

My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring breaking news and events in Everett, WA. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett. It's written by Leland Dart a former Snohomish County based radio reporter born and raised in Everett.

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2 Responses to “Panhandling NOT Against The Law In Everett”

  1. Eleanore Says:

    Panhandlers don’t have any money to pay any fines….

    • Robert Says:

      You’d be amazed how much they make… I saw a panhandler come in to exchange small bills for bigger ones at the Casino Fred Meyer and he had made nearly $300 (tax free.) There are people who slave away at real jobs and pay taxes that don’t make that much in just a few hours. Citizens gullibility allow these pariahs to flourish… Everett needs to get smart and downright outlaw panhandling. Those that are truly in need make use of the many social services that exist… while panhandlers are the sleazy bunch that abuse the good will natured of others so they can score some smack and then leave there used needles in parks and children’s playgrounds.