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N.Y. Court Upsets Ban on Loitering at Transit Stations

February 17, 1988|Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. — A New York state law forbidding loitering in subway, train or bus stations is unconstitutional because it puts people too much at the mercy of police, the state's top court ruled today.

The law forbids people to sleep in transportation facilities or to stay there without giving authorities a "satisfactory explanation" of what they're doing.

In a decision written by Judge Vito Titone, the Court of Appeals said the statute fails to give a "person of ordinary intelligence" notice that his conduct is against the law.

"Such a generalized law fails to distinguish between conduct calculated to cause harm and conduct that is essentially innocent," Titone wrote in the 7-0 ruling.

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