In the United States, there are many various laws add-dressing nudity. Sometime they are so vague as to be misinterpreted by authorities. One solution to the outright fear, or trepidation that this creates, is to carry paper evidence of the facts…JUST in case.
Following this introduction, I’m providing a link to the Naturist Action Committee’s take on this. It is informative and well put. I hope that you give them the deserving support that they have earned over the years and perhaps, find this useful.
From NAC newsletter Dec. 2020
Naturist Action Committee/Naturist Education Foundation
Pages of History, NaturistAction.org, NaturistEducation.org
Staying Safe – A Public Beach Defense Advisory
By Richard Mason, NAC Board Member
Before a naturist makes a decision to go to a specific beach location to get nude, they should have completed a “predictive thinking” mental exercise on how they would behave if approached by a law enforcement officer, how it would be best for them to act, and what they would do to try to avoid a ticket.
Before you stock the cooler, pack your “legal defense kit”.
When you go to a public beach, you should have with you a copy of the following:
►Your most current membership cards for any nudist organizations you belong to
►The Naturist Beach Etiquette
►The Naturist Bill of Rights
►Your driver’s license
►The 6th Amendment to the US Constitution
Put these, or copies of them, in a sturdy freezer quality zippered storage bag. The importance of these documents is to differentiate yourself from the other people who may go nude with a sexual agenda in mind. You do not know why the law enforcement officer is there. They may be there on a specific complaint against you, or they may be there on a sweep.
If they were sent there specifically on a complaint against you, it is important to know because that will kick in specific US Constitutional protections.
If they are there on a general sweep, then the legal documents will be your first line of defense in differentiating you from the people they were sent there to cite.
Don’t reach into your beach bag at any time. If you have everything stowed in your beach bag, inform the officer and immediately give them permission to examine your beach bag. Even if you’re topfree, don’t reach for your top without permission.
Complying with law enforcement commands will help prevent added charges of obstruction.
By being proactively savvy and cooperative you may put the officer more at ease and establish a friendly atmosphere which can aid in diffusing the situation.
Inform the officer that if nude sunbathing is discouraged in that location, you will be happy to get dressed and leave the area. If they indicate that they are going to write a citation, ask what law you are being charged with violating. Research will be needed to get the citation dismissed.
Note: NAC and NEF maintain a statute law page and a case law page. They are a great starting point for research, and we welcome any updates that naturists find.
Amendment 6 of the US Constitution states, and has been interpreted, that the witnesses must have provided a signed complaint or appear in court. In Miami at the police academy they teach that witnesses must sign a complaint and must also appear in court. If there is no one to challenge that issue, it will be overlooked by the system; and not to the advantage of the defendant.
I, thru SFFB and now NAC, have assisted with well over 200 cases. All were dismissed. We first educate the person who was cited. After hearing the elements of the case, we send them information that can help them get the case dismissed in court if they are planning to defend themselves.
We recommend they have an attorney. If the charge is disorderly conduct, they may get lucky on their own and get the case dismissed.
If the charges are areas such as; indecent exposure, lewd & lascivious, or sexual enticement, these are serious, and a conviction may get you on the sexual predator list, which can ruin your life.
Nude sunbathing does not reach the level of indecent exposure, but you can get convicted without a strong defense. We work with public defenders and private attorneys.
Naturists need to take the time to study the court decisions concerning public nudity in the state they are living or even the state they are visiting for nude recreation. Visit or speak to the public defender in your county or the county where nude recreation is located. Research the case law together or online or visit a public or university law library. There are students working in these libraries who can help you. Protect yourself and your colleagues. Protect yourself. Be smart – and polite – about it, and keep the legalities in mind.
Please share this information with others too.
This is an abbreviated version of the article originally published in our November 2020 newsletter.“
Before you stock the cooler, pack your “legal defense kit”. ”
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I think that I need to mention something about the two lines of the “ANRR Nudists’Bill of Rights” that refer to “APPROPRIATE” nudity.
These are number “5” “Nudist have the right to assemble in the nude in appropriate settings.”
number “7” “Nudists have the right to responsibly enjoy being nude within appropriate locations on public lands.”
In the document, there is no definition of “appropriate,” which is lacking. That term is widely varied. Does this mean a designated pen for nudity, or just away from the trailheads, or something more reasonable, or something more restrictive?
I suppose that we could lay into it whatever those boundaries are, subject to interpretation. Still, the inflection is that there is something wrong with the sight of my naked body, which is unacceptable. It is insulting to myself, my humanity and rightful freedom. That attitude is the fundamental problem. It is certainly a self-defeating, demeaning and unjust argument.
I need to add that generally, I carry nothing. I’m rarely in a situation where I will be arrested, or confronted.
These are only suggestions that might be used, perhaps a guideline. The paperwork will vary. We have 50 states and maybe 50 more countries which are unique and a million officials, who have their own takes and moods. There are undesignated nude beaches used in groups, there are trailheads, there are wildernesses, all situations will vary. Perhaps, some of this can be useful.