Mass. attorney general to look at cursing fine

June 18, 2012

By Associated Press

MIDDLEBOROUGH – Police in Middleborough won’t be able to write tickets for swearing in public until the state attorney general’s office determines if the new bylaw is constitutional.

That process could take months, and at least one person thinks the new bylaw might not go into effect.

Selectman Stephen McKinnon tells The Enterprise of Brockton that his gut feeling is that the attorney general won’t pass the bylaw. He says good behavior and common courtesy can’t be legislated.

Residents in Middleborough last week voted to approve a proposal from the police chief to impose a $20 fine on public profanity.

Officials say the proposal wasn’t intended to censor casual or private conversations, but instead to crack down on loud, profanity-laden language used by teens and other young people in the downtown area and public parks.

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