Panhandling ordinance for Indianapolis

Published: .
Updated: .

Sec. 407-102. - Panhandling.


As used in this section, panhandling means any solicitation made in person upon any street, public place or park in the city, in which a person requests an immediate donation of money or other gratuity from another person, and includes but is not limited to seeking donations:

By vocal appeal or for music, singing, or other street performance; and

Where the person being solicited receives an item of little or no monetary value in exchange for a donation, under circumstances where a reasonable person would understand that the transaction is in substance a donation.

However, panhandling shall not include the act of passively standing or sitting nor performing music, singing or other street performance with a sign or other indication that a donation is being sought, without any vocal request other than in response to an inquiry by another person.


It shall be unlawful to engage in an act of panhandling on any day after sunset, or before sunrise.


It shall be unlawful to engage in an act of panhandling when either the panhandler or the person being solicited is located at any of the following locations: at a bus stop; in any public transportation vehicle or public transportation facility; in a vehicle which is parked or stopped on a public street or alley; in a sidewalk cafe; or within twenty (20) feet in any direction from an automatic teller machine or entrance to a bank.


It shall be unlawful to engage in an act of panhandling in an aggressive manner, including any of the following actions:

Touching the solicited person without the solicited person's consent;

Panhandling a person while such person is standing in line and waiting to be admitted to a commercial establishment;

Blocking the path of a person being solicited, or the entrance to any building or vehicle;

Following behind, ahead or alongside a person who walks away from the panhandler after being solicited;

Using profane or abusive language, either during the solicitation or following a refusal to make a donation, or making any statement, gesture, or other communication which would cause a reasonable person to be fearful or feel compelled; or

Panhandling in a group of two (2) or more persons.


Each act of panhandling prohibited by this section shall constitute a public nuisance and a separate violation of this Code. Each violation shall be punishable as provided in section 103-3 of this Code, and the court shall enjoin any such violator from committing further violations of this section.

(Code 1975, § 20-8; G.O. 78, 1999, § 1)