San Diego Officials Hit With Class Action Lawsuit

( – America has a homelessness problem, especially in areas where rents are astronomically high. In California, encampments in parks aren’t uncommon. In fact, they’re pretty prominent in major cities like San Francisco and San Diego. Some homeless people in the latter are now suing city officials for violating their rights.

More than a dozen people have joined a federal class-action lawsuit accusing San Diego city officials of repeatedly, illegally tossing out their belongings in East County. There are countless tales of incidents occurring over the past few years. Christy Gillette said she was woken up one morning in 2022 by authorities and told to move or be arrested. She informed them that she needed her walker to move, but they tossed it out, along with her husband’s and son’s ashes.

Others in the lawsuit say officials and clean-up crews have taken their possessions. Some of the belongings are sentimental, while others are potentially valuable. Some people involved in the suit say that their life-saving medicine was thrown out.

The lawsuit claims that city officials are “making the homelessness crisis worse,” by leveling “threats of criminal punishment upon Citizens for being poor and unhoused,” essentially criminalizing poverty. Some of the issues outlined by the lawsuit include clean-up crews arriving days earlier than scheduled and issuing notices ahead of a sweep that say there’s a phone number that people can call to claim their belongings, yet no phone number is listed.

The issue is likely to end up being decided by the Supreme Court. The justices currently have a case in front of them that would define how much leeway cities and officials should have concerning cleaning up these encampments.

Several agencies are listed in the lawsuit, including San Diego’s City Attorney, the County of San Diego, the California Department of Transportation, and the California Highway Patrol. None have commented on the impending litigation.

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