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9th Circuit Court of Appeals Heard Desertrain vs. City of Los Angeles; Looks Like LA City Living in Vehicle Law is Unconstitutionally Vague
December 6, 2013
Pasadena CA, December 5, 2013— The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments today regarding Desertrain vs. the City of Los Angeles, a Venice Beach lawsuit.
The vagueness of Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC) 85.02, the city ordinance making it illegal to habitate in a vehicle, was the main topic for the oral arguments presented by Civil Rights Attorney Carol Sobel.
LAMC 85.02 was used during a concerted Venice homeless eradication effort. This effort included a special Los Angeles Police Task Force that arrested, towed, ticketed, and threatened homeless people accused of living in a vehicle.
The lawsuit was originally filed in 2010 alleging that the City of Los Angeles violated the Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case was not successful in the lower federal court, but was appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals by Sobel.
The three judge panel especially questioned the enforcement criteria and lack of duration for LAMC 85.02. “The City Attorney had difficulty answering the questions posed by the judges” according to plaintiff, Steve Jacobs-Elstein.
Venice is a special coastal community historically known for the diversity of its population; a community known for acceptance and tolerance. It is home to one of the largest free clinics in the country and provides homeless services second only to the skid row area in Los Angeles.
As Venice property values continue to soar, comes an influx of newer residents who can afford million dollar buildings by the sea, and hardships increase for those who can no longer afford to be housed in the community.
Surely, with all this new wealth, better solutions can be created.
Justice Committee & Media Group http://www.justice.wetnostril.net