Mass. AG: Town’s no-swearing rule legally suspect

BOSTON — Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley is recommending that the town of Middleborough change or repeal a bylaw that prohibits public profanity.

The town approved a proposal this summer that would allow police to enforce the 1968 ban by imposing a $20 fine on people who engage in loud swearing in public.

The proposal came in response to concerns by local merchants about profanity-laden language used by teenagers and other young people in the downtown area and public parks.

But Coakley said Tuesday the original bylaw appears to violate First Amendment free speech guarantees, and she called on Middleborough to take it off the books or amend it.

More in Local News

Food stuffs for a local chapter of A Simple Gesture at Fitness Evolution, the communal pick-up point, in Arlington on Jan. 12. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
There’s an easier way to donate to food banks

Grab a green bag, fill it gradually with grocery items — and someone will pick it up from your home.

Lake Stevens man shot by deputies reportedly was suicidal

The fatal shooting is the latest incident where someone apparently wanted police to fire.

Man suspected of robbing Rite Aids

Mill Creek police released a sketch Monday evening of the suspect.

Suspect: Marysville church fire ignited by burning shoelaces

The 21-year-old told police it was an accident, but he’s under investigation for second-degree arson.

Police seek witnesses to Marysville hit-and-run

A Seattle man suffered broken bones in the accident.

Tracking device leads police to bank robbery suspect

The man walked into a Wells Fargo around 3:15 Tuesday and told the teller he had a bomb.

Mayor, others break ground on low-barrier housing in Everett

Somers: The complex is expected to save lives and “really shows the heart of this community.”

Volunteers conduct annual count of homeless population

They worked througha standard set of questions to learn why people have ended up where they are.

Most Read