June 12th, 2012
10:58 AM ET

Massachusetts town puts $20 fine on profanity

The residents of Middleborough, Massachusetts, have had enough of this *#%@&!

And on Monday night they voted to make those who curse put their money where their potty mouths are - to the sum of $20, that is.

Police in the town of 22,000 will be writing tickets bearing fines in that amount to those who foul its public places with profanity after residents voted 183-50 Monday night that they were mad as *#%@& and weren't going to take it anymore.

Overheard on CNN.com: What the $%#;!? Choice words for town's profanity fine

"If I didn't hear 10 kids drop the F-bombs between my store and a block and half I would be shocked," local business owner Mimi Duphily told CNN affiliate WHDH. She was one of those who pushed for cops to clean up the *#%@&.

Not everyone was pleased with the plan.

“This comes under the context of trying to legislate morality or good parenting,” resident Adam Bond told those gathered at the annual town meeting Monday night, in the town that calls itself the "cranberry capital of the world."

So what words are over the line in Middlleborough?

That will be at the discretion of police, but they'll be directing their enforcement efforts at those using profanity to accost others, Officer Steven Nelson said Tuesday.

“It's not going to be just someone walking down the street dropping the F-bomb; it's going to be when you're actually making it uncomfortable for everyone else,” Duphily told WHDH.

Note that Middleborough is only 38 miles from Boston and Fenway Park, where Red Sox fans bestowed a profane nickname on New York Yankee Bucky Dent after the light-hitting shortstop homered in the seventh inning of a tiebreaker game in 1978.

Call him Bucky "Bleeping" Dent in Middleborough and it'll cost you $20.

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Filed under: Crime • Massachusetts
soundoff (500 Responses)
  1. Joshua Ludd

    I hope they rake in enough from fines pretty quickly to pay for the inevitable lawsuit over this.. which will quickly end this law.

    June 12, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Obama Mama

    Can the people make a citizens arrest against the po-pos for cursing?

    June 12, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  3. chris

    im more worried about the kids with the bombs . is a f bomb worse than the a bomb ?

    June 12, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mister Jones

    This reminds me of Demolition Man with Sly Stallone and Wesley Snipes. Bring on the three seashells!!! LOL!

    June 12, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • mickey1313

      Lol i love that movie. " You are fined 1/2 credit for violation of the verbal morality statue" stalone a and snipes = gold

      June 12, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. *#%@&!u

    Never hold up in court as a violation of free speech.

    June 12, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  6. WillH85

    Seems like a clear cut violation of the First Amendment. I don't see this lasting long.

    June 12, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dakota2000

    I predict a spoof on SNL in the near future. It would be hilarious...

    June 12, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  8. CommonSensed

    And then it went up against Freedom of Speech and was tossed out. Thanks for wasting future court dollars on this ludicrous law.

    June 12, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dale

    Question have any of you listen to the profanity CDs kids are listening to today HATE RAP boom boom boom boom you hear all the time the F word, the B word, the N-word, **x, money, violence, why isn't there anything being done about that profanity.

    June 12, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • mickey1313

      Because profanity is protected speech. The fcc has no legal jurisdiction. It is just one of the dozens of illegal fascist government groups designed to steal citizens rights.

      June 12, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mike

    This law is asinine. Nobody has the right not to be offended.

    June 12, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. phenom

    let's not forget that we all have the right to free speech in America. This law is garbage i wouldn't pay the fine.

    June 12, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Cathy

    O.K.., remember when you go to Middleboro, use the following words so you won't get a ticket:

    Freakin'
    Fudge
    Sugar Honey Iced Tea
    Shoot
    Fudge Nuts

    Any other words you can think to replace those horrible words!!

    June 12, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  13. DD

    My kids learned that cussing in public is bad manners. Why didn't yours?

    June 12, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. cf

    This is, literally, a violation of freedom of speech. It doesn't get more clear-cut than this.

    June 12, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. woogiesmom

    Absolutely ridiculous...

    June 12, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
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