A proposed city ordinance, scheduled for a vote at Thursday’s City Council meeting, would make it easier for the police and health departments to crack down on homeless encampments that pop up in New Orleans, such as a tent city that recently appeared at Camp and Calliope streets.

Quigley said the ordinance fails to specify two key elements: a minimum time notice that must be given to homeless individuals before their property is seized and an inventory process to ensure their property isn’t disposed of unlawfully.

“Theoretically, with this notice, police could just show up at any spot where the homeless are, evict them on the spot and throw their stuff in a garbage truck,” he said.

Quigley said he believes the law is well-intentioned but that without more specific language, the city could end up on the wrong end of a significant legal judgment after a future sweep. He pointed to a federal lawsuit in which Fresno, California was ordered to pay about $1 million to the homeless and their attorneys for violating due process rights by destroying property.

Read the full Advocate article, “Proposed ordinance would make it easier to roust homeless.”

 

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