“We’ll be filing an amended complaint in the next few weeks and we will be right back in Judge Carter’s court”
A coalition of groups has sued the city and county of Los Angeles, California, to force the housing of homeless people living on the notorious stretch known as Skid Row.
A federal judge ordered the city to act, but the 9th U.S. Court of Appeals has just overturned the order.
The homeless problem in Los Angeles and other cities was a driving factor in the failed effort to recall California Governor Gavin Newsom.
The Associated Press reports:
US court order to house LA Skid Row homeless overturned
The 9th U.S. Court of Appeals on Thursday overturned a federal judge’s sweeping order that required the city and county of Los Angeles to quickly find shelter for all homeless people living on downtown’s Skid Row.
The appeals court found extensive error by U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter, who is overseeing a major lawsuit about the problem of homelessness in Los Angeles.
The appeals court found that the plaintiffs lacked standing to bring most of their claims in the lawsuit and that Carter based his preliminary injunction on claims and theories that were not made by the plaintiffs.
Carter issued the 110-page order in late April that slammed local officials’ inability to restrain the unprecedented growth of homelessness that has seen encampments spread into nearly every neighborhood in the region.
The order gave the city and county 180 days to house Skid Row homeless and to audit any spending related to the crisis of people living on the streets.
The lawsuit was brought by a coalition that includes business and property owners, landlords and others who allege that inaction by the city and county on the problem has created a dangerous environment.
The good news is that all is not lost.
Ethan Ward reports at the LAist:
Elizabeth Mitchell, an attorney with Spertus, Landes & Umhofer, representing the L.A. Alliance for Human Rights, said the ruling was vacated “in the best possible way” because it was done so on procedural grounds, which can be quickly addressed.
“We’ll be filing an amended complaint in the next few weeks and we will be right back in Judge Carter’s court,” she said. “I think the reports or talk that this is a bigger deal or that the alliance case is over is absolutely false and couldn’t be further from the truth.”
Mitchell said the alliance would have welcomed a negotiated settlement with the city and county, and only filed the motion when it became clear any possible agreement was going nowhere.
“The city, I believe, is trying to get there, but the county needs to engage with real offers that will help solve this crisis,” she said, adding that they could have fixed things a year ago.
The homeless problem in California is clearly out of control, and the same could be said for other American cities.
It’s a disgrace.
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