This lawsuit was brought by several homeless people with mental and physical disabilities against the City of Laguna Beach in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The plaintiffs, represented by the Southern California chapter of the ACLU and private counsel, have accused ...
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This lawsuit was brought by several homeless people with mental and physical disabilities against the City of Laguna Beach in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The plaintiffs, represented by the Southern California chapter of the ACLU and private counsel, have accused the city and the Laguna Beach Police Department (LBPD) of violating the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. § 12132), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. §§ 706, 794), and Article I, sections 7 and 17 of the California Constitution by targeting disabled homeless people under laws restricting camping in public spaces. Plaintiffs argue that the Alternative Sleeping Location (ASL) created by the county as part of the settlement to a previous lawsuit against the county over its treatment of homeless persons doesn’t have adequate accommodations for homeless persons with disabilities, and that disabled homeless persons thus have no viable alternative to camping in public spaces. Plaintiffs bring their suit under 42 U.S.C. §1983, the Declaratory Judgement Act (28 U.S.C. §2201), and California Law, and have asked the court for preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, declaratory relief, nominal damages, and attorneys’ fees. More specifically, plaintiffs are asking the court to say that Laguna Beach is violating the law, prevent the city from enforcing anti-camping laws, and require the city to provide new accommodations suitable for housing homeless people with disabilities.
On November 23, 2015, plaintiffs asked the district court judge assigned to the case, Judge Andrew J. Guilford, to issue a preliminary injunction that would prevent the LBPD from enforcing anti-camping laws against disabled homeless people pending the final outcome of the suit. Judge Guilford denied that relief on February 10, 2016, finding that the plaintiffs’ claims for injunctive relief from enforcement of the anti-camping laws were unlikely to succeed at trial.
As of June 21, 2016, the case is ongoing. Judge Guilford has not yet decided whether to grant plaintiffs class certification to represent similarly-situated, disabled homeless people, nor has he decided the merits. Ryan Berry - 06/21/2016