CBS Atlanta has previously reported that the AJC is violating City of Atlanta littering ordinances. (We’ve reported on the details of those laws here.)
Thanks to StopAJCReach.org reader Mark, who sent us information about Georgia state law, we’re adding Georgia’s litter law (O.C.G.A. § 16-7-58) to the list of laws related to the issue.
What Georgia State Law Says
Georgia law O.C.G.A. § 16-7-58 prohibits placement of advertisements on public or private property unless the owner of the property has given permission.
Any person who violates this Code section shall be punished the same as for littering under Code Section 16-7-43 (guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished… by a fine of not less than $200.00 nor more than $1,200.00).
O.C.G.A. § 16-7-58 states that each advertisement placed in violation of the Code constitutes a separate offense.
AJC Reach is an advertising circular that consists entirely of advertisements. The AJC (via a contracted distribution company) has been placing these advertisements without permission by property owners. Therefore we believe that the AJC is distributing AJC Reach advertisements in violation of this law.
With over one million AJC Reach advertisements distributed per week – and with each advertisement placed in violation of the Code constituting a separate offense – could the AJC be fined $200 million – $1.2 billion per week if it is convicted of violating O.C.G.A. § 16-7-58? And what does the AJC have to say about this law?
A Non-Answer From the AJC
We asked the AJC to comment for this article about AJC Reach distribution relative to Georgia state law O.C.G.A. § 16-7-58.
In an e-mailed response, AJC spokesperson Jennifer Morrow did not answer our question.
“We do not have any changes to our previous statements regarding delivery to private residences,” Morrow said.
What do YOU think about AJC Reach distribution in streets, sidewalks and drive ways? What do you think about the AJC’s response for this article?
Post your comments in the comment section of this article, below.
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Photo credit: smlp.co.uk
O.C.G.A. § 16-7-58
TITLE 16. CRIMES AND OFFENSES
CHAPTER 7. DAMAGE TO AND INTRUSION UPON PROPERTY
ARTICLE 2. CRIMINAL TRESPASS AND DAMAGE TO PROPERTY
PART 3A. PLACEMENT OF POSTERS, SIGNS, AND ADVERTISEMENTS
O.C.G.A. § 16-7-58 (2009)
§ 16-7-58. Prohibited placements of posters, signs, and advertisements
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to place posters, signs, or advertisements:
(1) On any public property or building, unless the owner thereof or the occupier as authorized by such owner has given permission to place such posters, signs, or advertisements on such property; provided, however, that signs within the rights of way of public roads shall be governed by Code Section 32-6-51;
(2) On any private property unless the owner thereof or the occupier as authorized by such owner has given permission to place such posters, signs, or advertisements on such property; and, provided, further that no municipal, county, or consolidated government may restrict by regulation or other means the length of time a political campaign sign may be displayed or the number of signs which may be displayed on private property for which permission has been granted; or
(3) On any property zoned for commercial or industrial uses if the placement of such posters, signs, or advertisements conflicts with any zoning laws or ordinances.
(b) Any poster, sign, or advertisement placed in violation of paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this Code section is declared to be a public nuisance, and the officials having jurisdiction of the public property or building, including without limitation law enforcement officers, may remove or direct the removal of the same.
(c) Each poster, sign, or advertisement placed in violation of this Code section shall constitute a separate offense.
(d) Any person who violates this Code section shall be punished the same as for littering under Code Section 16-7-43.
Any person who violates… this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished… By a fine of not less than $200.00 nor more than $1,200.00.