Massachusetts Town Starts Handing Out Tickets For Swearing

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Rick Elkins/Getty Images

Rick Elkins/Getty Images

A new law has been passed by the residents in Middleborough, Massachusetts which fines people for swearing-in public. They voted to pass the $20 public profanity fine 183-50.

The law is aim at cracking down on loud, profanity coming from teens and other young people in the downtown public parks.

I’m really happy about it,” Mimi Duphily, a store owner and former town selectwoman, told MSNBC after the vote. “I’m sure there’s going to be some fallout, but I think what we did was necessary.”

The measure does raise questions about First Amendment rights, but the state of Massachusetts does give police the power to arrest anyone who “addresses another person with profane or obscene language” in a public place.

The ordinance does give police discretion over whether to ticket someone if they believe they have violated the cursing ban.

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