Judge Says LA Can't Throw Away Large Items Belonging to Homeless


A federal judge granted a request Tuesday to stop Los Angeles police and sanitation workers from seizing and tossing out items belonging to homeless people based on an object's size.

In granting a preliminary injunction, U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee barred the city from enforcing an ordinance that bans people from keeping large items — those that cannot fit into a 60-gallon container — on public walkways.

A spokesman for the City Attorney's Office said attorneys would review the order, but had no immediate comment.

The city has maintained that the public has a right to unblocked sidewalks.

The judge noted that plaintiffs are likely to succeed on their claim that the city's "bulky items" rule violates the 4th Amendment, which prohibits illegal seizures.

The July 2019 lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles federal court by homeless residents and advocates, alleges that the city law is unconstitutional. The filing includes accounts of sanitation workers and police confiscating — without a warrant — and destroying such items as a dog cage, and a foam cushion and wooden pallets used as a makeshift bed.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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