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Thread: Straightforward Q re searching statutes et sim.

  1. #1
    Oliphaunt Jizzelbin's avatar
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    Default Straightforward Q re searching statutes et sim.

    Yeah, so as should be clear, I'm not seeking legal advice, nor, for that matter, do I require any.

    I'm having a very hard time digging up (using just regular google and known keyboards like "revised [statename] statutes" for things that are municipality-based.

    Let me give you an example, that I'm actually kind of curious about myself. So my query would be "to what extent do public-facing buildings on [informally, a downtown city street] own the right to regulate behavior, such as smoking, or wearing a spiderman costume, or whatever, ten feet, say, from the block (let's assume a block is defined in statute)-length perimeter of their property, while abstaining from activity that is explicitly prohibited by municipal (or state for all I know) statute, from withn 10 feet of an entrance way."

    So, sticking with this example, because it seems a good one, to what extent can one FIND OUT how much of the public sidewalk a private business can exert power and restraint over another private citizen?

    I know about things like shoveling snow and ice being an obligation, but just because some people did the work. Peopled sued companies (including, ahem, law companies) where I've lived, and things got settled.

    So, FOR THINGS LIKE THIS AND OTHER, NIGGLING details, what's the way for a curious citizen to find out?

    I know about Lexis (sp?) -- my instutition MIGHT subscribe to it, not sure, but in GENERAL, what's a good way to find little, stupid stuff like this out that probably isn't in the "[x] state revised statutes" web-page, etc.?

  2. #2
    Oliphaunt Jizzelbin's avatar
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    And since my English isn't apparently so good, and since it might be more fun: let me tell a story.

    So, I was waiting for my uncle to pop into the grocery store in a relativey-dense downtown of a small US city. I figured, hey, he can go in, grab his sandwich, whatever, I'll chill out. Neither of us were intoxicated, not that that matters. But, this being Portland, it helps to clarify. So I, knowing from recent research and general kindness of my heart and desire to not offend others, that it's a violation of law and politeness to puff on my tobacco pipe right next to the door.

    Here's the block:

    <-------------------X-------------------------------->
    |
    |
    |
    | STORE...................................
    |
    |
    |
    |
    |
    |
    |
    |
    |
    |
    |
    |
    |
    |
    |
    |
    |

    Well, I won't go on, but the idea is it's a square block, full of "STORE", and the X marks about where I was relative to the "<" and" >" denoting entrances.

    Just chilling, puffing my pipe, about fifty feet from the entrance along a brick wall. Some security guy in a polo shirt comes, doing his rounds, I guess, and says "I'm going to need you to step back to about ten feet from here, by the street."

    I don't remember exactly what I said, but basicaly, "OK, but why?"

    --Well, because we normally ask people to stay over by the curb

    me: Well, this is a public sidewalk, I'm not by your doors. So, why?

    -- You know, normally, a lot of homeless people just do what I say, so I don't see what's the problem? All I'm doing is ask for you to step a few feet over to the curb.

    me: Well yeah I understand. But what's the problem?

    -- Well, you're touching my building with your foot

    me: OK, you're right. I'm sorry about that, I won't do that. You're right.

    -- Well I'm still going to need you to step back

    me: OK, are you a police officer?

    -- No, but I can invite you to leave this store. Do you shop here?

    me: No, I don't shop here. Is there a law against smoking on a public sidewalk?
    --Well you're loitering. [NB: this I knew as much, there is no municipal ordinance in PDX for loitering whatsover. There's a certain sit-lie ....never mind, it's complicated, you people wouldn't understand.]


    **************************
    So, while that ineptly reconstructed "thing" from two months ago occurred without incident, and both parties were happy at the end, I just want to know who was right. ETA and to further clarify: I want to know how do i FIND OUT who is right.

    EETA and more to the point, I want to know how JQPubl finds out about this stuff, aside from the 4th estate doing a thing about it, or having jurisprudence rule as needed. yes, I know what jurisprudence means, and this is not an issue here, anyway, just curiosity
    Last edited by Jizzelbin; 08 Apr 2016 at 07:32 PM.

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    Oliphaunt Jizzelbin's avatar
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    And for those who were interested in that idiotic exchange, it ended after him saying "yeah, youre loitering" and me saying "OK, suppose I am" and him saying "well I can exclude you from the store" and me saying "I'm not stopping you from anything" and basically it got into a verbal slap-fight. He knew I wasn't bothering anybody, and also that I didn't care if he trespassed me, and it was all just, basically, light-hearted, but I'm still wondering who was right, and, if a determination s to made short of adjudication, how to find out.

    FTRecord, I gave in after about five minutes of light-hearted banter and stepped back two feet or whatever, and it was fine. There was no fight, he even seemed to enjoy talking with somebody who wasn't camped out in a hobo camp in front of the shop, and he went out of his way to say, "hey, even these homeless people obey the rules, why can't you,"

    My only question is, who was right, and how do I find out?

    I suspect it's like what would have been my next line, if I wasn't a nice guy, and say "maybe a judge sees it your way, and maybe he doesn't."

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