City of LA’s cut and paste response to Mitchell complaint. TL;DR: Either we didn’t do it or they didn’t say we did so we don’t even have to say we didn’t. (See Gale Holland’s excellent story in the Times on Mitchell v. LA as well as our other stories on the subject for the background to this post).
On May 20 the City of Los Angeles
filed its response to the complaint in Mitchell v. Los Angeles. It’s 13 pages of unenlightening denial, punctuated only with an occasional “they didn’t accuse us of anything so we’re not even gonna deny it” moment. Also, the parties are negotiating something, and evidently it’s going well, so yesterday they jointly asked the judge to put off the hearing on the City’s motion for a clarification of Otero’s injunction against the City. Well, evidently they showed good reason, because today Otero filed an order granting the continuance and that hearing is now scheduled for July 25.
Continue reading City of LA Files Answer in Mitchell, Hearing on Order to Clarify Injunction Postponed to July 25
(See Gale Holland’s excellent story in the Times on Mitchell v. LA as well as our other stories on the subject for the background to this post).
Recall that last month Judge Otero
issued a preliminary injunction forbidding the City of Los Angeles from confiscating the property of homeless people in and/or around Skid Row without following required due process. Today the City filed a motion asking Otero to clarify what he meant. They also filed a proposed order for the Judge’s signature which, I imagine, is mostly of value here as it shows what the City wishes the injunction means.
Additionally the city filed
a map of Skid Row, a copy of LAMC 56.11, and a declaration of Scott Marcus, the assistant chief of the Civil Litigation Branch of the City Attorney’s office. Marcus’s main point seems to be that he met with Carol Sobel for four hours in the company of Magistrate Judge Carla Woerhle and they couldn’t come to a common understanding about what the order meant.
Continue reading City of Los Angeles asks Judge Otero to Clarify Last Month’s Preliminary Injunction Against Full Enforcement of LAMC 56.11
Judge James Otero just today issued Judge James Otero issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting the City of LA from wantonly confiscating homeless people’s property on Skid Row. an order granting an injunction prohibiting the City of Los Angeles from confiscating the property of homeless people living on Skid Row without following a detailed procedure meant to protect their property rights. In order to grant this order, Otero had to find that the claims of the plaintiffs against the City were likely to succeed, and this he did. In particular, he analyzed the evidence that the City submitted in opposition to the request for a restraining order and stated unequivocally that This strikes my (uninformed) eye as a fairly bad start to the City’s defense of this case, which is a fairly good omen for justice, fairness, and humanity in this City of Angels. “The counterevidence submitted by Defendants, including the videos, are at best inconclusive.”
You can see the conditions under which the City is allowed to confiscate property after the break, but they seem to be essentially the conditions (notification, health hazards, storage for 90 days, etc.) that are already prescribed by LAMC 56.11. My superficial reading of the situation is that he’s ordering them to stick to what the law already allows, but now they have a federal judge ordering them to stick to what the law allows. After all, it’s one thing to have to follow the law because it’s the law. It’s another more serious thing entirely to have to follow the law because a federal judge is watching you to make sure you follow it. Anyway, that’s what I think is going on here.
Continue reading Court Finds Plaintiffs’ Arguments Likely to Succeed on their Merits, Issues Preliminary Injunction Limiting Confiscation of Homeless People’s Property on Skid Row
(See Gale Holland’s excellent story in the Times for background).
Here’s a brief summary of what’s been going on in this turbulent case over the last week: On April 1 the plaintiffs in this already-hotly-contested suit against the City of Los Angeles for its policies regarding the confiscation of the property of the homeless on Skid Row
asked the Court to issue a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) enjoining the City from further confiscations of their property. On April 6 the City filed a fragmentation grenade of a response accusing both plaintiffs and their attorneys of lying and asking that they be sanctioned by the court. The City’s pleadings had accusations that were sufficiently inflammatory that they prompted the plaintiffs the next day to lodge a request that some of the stuff the City filed be sealed due to privacy concerns.
This brings us to late Thursday afternoon, when the City filed
its opposition to the plaintiffs’ application to seal along with a hypertechnical “clarification” that’s beyond my capacity to interpret. And yesterday, April 8, the plaintiffs filed a bunch of stuff in reply to the City’s opposition to the application for the restraining order. You can find it all here or see a list after the break. There’s too much going on for me to discuss it all, but the essential argument (and some pretty convincing photographic proof that the City is misrepresenting facts) can be found after the break.
Continue reading Mitchell v. LA Plaintiffs Respond to City’s Opposition to Application for Temporary Restraining Order against Further Property Confiscation, City Files Opposition to Plaintiffs’ Application to Strike and/or Seal Publicly Filed Documents,