“The real problem is there’s no place for people to go. Caltrans has to come to grips with this,” said Osha Neumann, an attorney for the East Bay Community Law Center. “They have to deal with this in a rational way, just like they do with earthquakes. This is a man-made disaster.”
A coalition including the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, the ACLU Foundation of Northern California, East Bay Community Law Center, the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, and King & Spalding LLP, is supporting Mathieu and former Lockwood resident Edward Jackson as they challenge the constitutionality of the Oakland Public Housing loitering ordinance.
The suit, filed this week in federal court, says the city ordinance is applied excessively to young black men and should be deemed unconstitutional. Named as defendants are the city of Oakland and the Oakland Housing Authority Police Department. The entities that filed the lawsuit — including the East Bay Community Law Center and local ACLU division — submitted a stack of police reports as part of the complaint.
SACRAMENTO – Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, unveiled legislation today to prevent the automatic suspension of driver’s licenses for people who are unable to pay fines or fees for minor traffic tickets and require courts to determine violators’ ability to pay before setting fine amounts.
OAKLAND — Civil rights groups have filed a class action lawsuit against Caltrans on behalf of five homeless people from Oakland and Berkeley.[…]Additional counsel are the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Northern California, both based in San Francisco, and the Berkeley-based East Bay Community Law Center.
A coalition of civil-rights groups and one of the nation’s largest law firms have taken on the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), asking for a state-wide, permanent injunction to stop the sweeps which end up confiscating and often destroying the property of homeless people. In Berkeley, this lawsuit would protect homeless people living on state property, such as those who camp at the Gilman underpass.
OAKLAND — According to a lawsuit filed today by civil rights groups, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is violating the constitutional rights of homeless people by confiscating and destroying their property in ongoing sweeps.
The complaint, filed by the ACLU of Northern California, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, East Bay Community Law Center and the law firm of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, also alleges that Caltrans workers also pry people’s property out of their hands before trashing it. The injunction would require Caltrans to give proper notice of raids and prohibits them from damaging or confiscating property across the state.
Bridgette Parker sued Caltrans in small claims court earlier this year after the agency destroyed her property. Now a new class action lawsuit alleges this is a systematic problem affecting the East Bay’s homeless residents.
The Back on the Road coalition, made up of seven California organizations and supported by the ACLU, claims that an individual’s driver’s license can only be suspended legally if the person has “willfully” failed to appear or pay a fine. Simply being “too poor to pay the fine,” according to the coalition’s complaint, isn’t enough to establish intent as required by law.