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Boardwalk Musicians Win Civil Suit In Ocean City

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The Ocean City boardwalk is once again safe for street performers.
The Ocean City boardwalk is once again safe for street performers.

A civil dispute between Ocean City, Md., and one of its boardwalk performers over the noise ordinance settled out of court this week for $137,000.

Bill Hassey Jr. believes his win is also a win for many buskers who have long felt the city was creating laws to get rid of them.

And while Hassey Jr, will walk away with $21,000 in damages, he says this case is as much about the right to play for people as it is about the money in his tip bucket.

"Being paid is important — not just for the money, but it tells me what people want to hear," Hassey Jr. says.

The rest of the settlement money will go to the ACLU of Maryland, which represented Hassey Jr, in the lawsuit against Ocean City's 30-foot noise ordinance.

The settlement also levies a permanent injunction on that noise law, meaning it can no longer be enforced.

So, while temperatures are cold and you can count the number of folks on the Boardwalk on one hand, this ruling means you'll be hearing a lot more of this, during your nightly summer strolls in Ocean City.


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