Document Type

Case Summary

Publication Date


Case Synopsis

Lani Lisa Silvar (“Silvar”) was arrested in Clark County, Nevada for violating Clark County Ordinance (“CCO”) 12.08.030. While Silvar was standing on the corner of Fremont and Atlantic Street, a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department detective approached her in an unmarked vehicle. Silvar entered the detective’s vehicle and allegedly asked the detective if he was “dating,” a term synonymous with seeking prostitution. After the detective responded in the affirmative, Silvar became nervous and attempted to exit the vehicle. The detective identified himself and gave Silvar an opportunity to explain her actions. Silvar responded that she was working as a prostitute, recognized the detective from a previous solicitation arrest, and decided not to proceed. The detective arrested Silvar and she was charged with loitering for the purpose of prostitution in violation of CCO 12.08.30 which states: It is unlawful for any person to loiter in or near any public place or thoroughfare in a manner and under circumstances manifesting the purpose of inducing, enticing, soliciting for or procuring another to commit an act of prostitution. Among the circumstances which may be considered in determining whether such purpose is manifested are that such person repeatedly beckons to, stops, attempts to stop or engages persons passing by in conversation, or repeatedly stops or attempts to stop motor vehicle operators by hailing, waving of arms or any other bodily gesture. No arrest shall be made for a violation of this section unless the arresting officer first affords such person an opportunity to explain such conduct, and no one shall be convicted of violating this section if it appears at trial that the explanation given was true and disclosed a lawful purpose.2 Silvar moved to dismiss the complaint against her arguing that CCO 12.08.30 was unconstitutionally vague and overbroad. The Las Vegas Justice Court dismissed the complaint on that basis. The district court reversed and remanded, upholding the constitutionality of the ordinance. Silvar appealed. The Nevada Supreme Court found that the ordinance was unconstitutionally vague and overbroad and therefore void.