Gnoza Knows It | Is it against the law to curse someone out?


I had this debate with friends some time ago and I decided to revive it for Gnoza Knows It and to find an answer.

Is it unlawful to curse someone out or to give them an obscene gesture and that includes a law enforcement officer.

I reached out to an attorney Gary Lysaght and he directed me to this ruling, Commonwealth vs. Kelly.

It originated in Lancaster County.

Long story short, a woman is driving through a construction zone in 1998, presumably isn't happy about the delay, curses at a construction worker then flips him off.

The old bird. Someone issued the driver a citation.

She went to district court, then county court. Same result, guilty of disorderly conduct.

So she appealed it to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania and in August of 2000, the court reversed her conviction!

Judge Maureen Lally-Green wrote the majority opinion and said that while the driver was being disrespectful, she was not being obscene, nor was she breaching the public place.

Judge Stevens concurred with that opinion, but said he would hope that the lawmakers would make such disrespect of road worker prohibited.

To my knowledge it has not happened.

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