LAYTON -- Davis County's largest city recently lost a bit of its history, when the city council voted to repeal a vagrancy guideline dating back to the 1800s.
The guideline prohibited hanging out, as it was defined back then.
During a review of city code, an official stumbled across an old ordinance addressing vagrancy, which City Attorney Gary Crane admitted caught people off guard.
The old provision states the following:
"It is unlawful for any person to be a vagrant or to practice vagrancy. Every person, without visible means of support who has the physical ability to work and who does not seek employment or labor when employment is offered him, every beggar who solicits alms as a business, every person who roams about from place to place without any lawful business, every idle or dissolute person or associate of known thieves who wanders about the streets at late or unusual hours of night, or lodges in any barn, shed, shop, outhouse, or place other than such as is kept for lodging purposes, without permission of the owner or person entitled to the possession thereof, every person who solicits for immoral purposes, and every common prostitute and common drunkard is a vagrant."
"It's never been used that I know of. It's rather entertaining to read it," Crane said.
Crane admits the guideline to address people who aren't gainfully employed and wander around the streets late at night is unconstitutional.
"We thought we'd better repeal a piece of history," Crane said.
The issue was repealed by a 5-0 vote at a recent council meeting.
Crane said many of the issues addressed in the old code are now covered in newer, more legal definitions.
The issue did spark discussion regarding a different kind of problem in the city, however.
During the work session, Councilman Scott Freitag said he has heard complaints about panhandlers coming into the city every day by bus and working street corners and off ramps.
Crane said that, by law, the panhandlers have a right to solicit money as long as they are not in the way of traffic. "They have a right to be there."