FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A judge has suspended enforcement of Fort Lauderdale’s ordinance restricting the public feeding of homeless people for 30 days and ordered mediation on the issue.

The decision Tuesday by Broward Circuit Judge Thomas Lynch came in a challenge to the ordinance by 90-year-old homeless advocate Arnold Abbott, who has been arrested after defying it repeatedly. Lynch wants the dispute resolved through mediation or trial by the end of the year.

The ordinance is aimed at keeping people from feeding the homeless in parks and other public places. It has generated nationwide controversy, including a successful effort Monday by hackers with the Anonymous group to shut down city Internet sites temporarily.

City attorneys indicated they may appeal Lynch’s ruling. Additional lawsuits challenge the ordinance’s constitutionality.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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