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Judge strikes down NC ban on public profanity

•  Court News     updated  2011/01/10 09:16

A North Carolina judge has struck down a 98-year-old state ban on public profanity.

Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour dismissed a misdemeanor charge against Chapel Hill resident Samantha Elabanjo on Wednesday. She had been convicted in July of using the word "damn" during a confrontation with police officers.

Baddour ruled the law against indecent or profane language within earshot of two or more people on any public road in North Carolina was unconstitutionally vague.

The case started Feb. 15 when Elabanjo stepped into the road as a police cruiser drove by. The two officers asked her to get back on the sidewalk. She did, but said: "You need to clean up your damn, dirty car" while still in the road. She then called the officers a vulgar name and she was arrested.

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