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News

Good News for the Homeless: The City Can't Take Your Stuff When You Leave it On the Street

homeless-property.jpg
Photo by Jo Martin Pix via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
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Downtown Los Angeles' homeless population won a battle with the City this week, after an injunction reaffirmed Thursday guaranteed that a homeless person's property cannot be seized and destroyed if left unattended on the street. The restrictions imposed on the City of Los Angeles stem from a case "filed by eight homeless individuals who say that the city took their belongings when they walked away for food, the bathroom or to appear in court," explains blogdowntown. The eight involved in the case assert "the pick-ups violate protections against unreasonable seizure and the deprivation of property without due process."

Previously, U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez "rejected the city's claim that property along downtown's Skid Row was abandoned or created a public hazard, notes the Wave. Gutierrez added that the homeless have an "expectation of privacy" that is violated when authorities seize and destroy their possessions.

Yesterday's affirmation of the injunction could lead the way to a system for storing property that is removed from the city streets.