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Newspaper wins fight over littering, conspiracy charges

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Newspaper wins fight over littering, conspiracy charges 05/04/98 ILLINOIS--A county judge in Creve Coeur ruled in early April that newspaper…

Newspaper wins fight over littering, conspiracy charges

05/04/98

ILLINOIS–A county judge in Creve Coeur ruled in early April that newspaper distributors who leave unsolicited newspapers on front yards cannot be fined for littering.

Three delivery people for the East Peoria Times-Courier were ticketed in Creve Coeur for littering in early March, and four other employees who were driving delivery trucks were cited for “conspiracy to commit littering,” according to the Associated Press.

“When the plaintiff tosses the newspaper onto private property, it clearly intends for the homeowner to pick it up and read the material and the ads,” the judge ruled. “The plaintiff does not intend to discard the newspaper. Doing so, therefore, cannot be littering.”

The newspaper’s owner, Community Services Newspaper Inc., sued the city in mid-March, arguing that the citations violated its First Amendment rights.