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L.A. City Attorney Hydee Feldstein Files Amicus Brief Urging U.S. Supreme Court Review of City of Grants Pass Decision on Homelessness

Posted on 09/29/2023

LOS ANGELES – City Attorney Hydee Feldstein Soto announced that her office, on behalf of the City of Los Angeles, has submitted an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to review a federal case from Oregon that could change how cities grapple with homeless encampments.

The brief argues that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in a case called City of Grants Pass, Oregon v. Gloria Johnson, used broad and inconsistent language that will make it more difficult for Los Angeles to enforce regulations designed to balance the rights of people experiencing homelessness with the need to keep public spaces safe, clean and accessible to all. The Ninth Circuit’s ruling expanded on a 2018 decision in Martin v. Boise, where the court said that the cruel and unusual punishment clause of the Eighth Amendment prevents governments from imposing criminal penalties on homeless individuals for sleeping on public property if there are no available alternatives.

In the brief, Feldstein Soto wrote that both decisions undermine the efforts of the city to balance ensuring that homeless individuals have appropriate places to sleep and that public sidewalks are safe and accessible for everyone.

You can read the brief hereBrief of Amicus Curiae City of Los Angeles in Support of Petitioner