SLO overrules judge on homeless raids

July 11, 2012

By KAREN VELIE

San Luis Obispo City Council voted 4-1 in favor of adopting an emergency ordinance that allows police to ticket homeless sleeping in their vehicles in an attempt to overrule a judge’s ban on the late night raids.

After determining a July 3 ruling by San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Charles Crandall was a misinterpretation of the city’s intent to use a development code to ticket people sleeping in vehicles, the city rewrote the ordinance and placed it in a health and safety code section.

In February, police started a program of late night forays using scare tactics and threats to stop homeless from sleeping in their cars. Two months later, local attorneys Saro Rizzo and Stew Jenkins filed a lawsuit accusing the city of San Luis Obispo and the chief of police of discrimination, harassment and the criminalization of homeless.

At Tuesday’s council meeting, one person spoke in favor of the ban noting her fear of the homeless and the trash they leave behind. The remaining 16 public speakers said they were opposed to the city reinstating the anti-camping ordinance.

“We are human and it is hard to be harassed every day by the cops,” Barbara Walker said and then began to weep. “It sickens me that people want to treat us like trash. We are human.”

Explaining her support for the emergency ordinance, Mayor Jan Marx said she was concerned the city would become a magnet or a target for people who want to camp out on public streets.

John Ashbaugh said he was in favor of enacting an anti-camping ordinance, but was concerned with the emergency ordinance’s language and wanted a rewrite. He voted against the ordinance.

The ordinance includes a statement that the city’s intent is to “overrule any ruling to the contrary.”

City attorney Christine Dietrick said the new ordinance dealt with all the judge’s concerns. However, in his ruling, Crandall says his second concern is that the previous ordinance did not require the city to  provide reasonable notice to local and state residents of the street camping prohibition. The new ordinance does not require the city to put up signs noting that it is a crime to sleep in a vehicle.

Crandall’s third concern has to do with criminally enforcing a zoning regulation, which  is ordinarily investigated by code enforcement officers. In its emergency ordinance, the city notes police enforcement is required because the city’s code enforcement officers do not work at night.

Attorneys Rizzo and Jenkins said they are contemplating amending their complaint against the city and asking the judge to enact a temporary restraining order again banning the city from ticketing homeless for sleeping.

“Fighting the city is like going fishing in a 12-foot skiff and catching a 9-foot shark,” Jenkins said. “After getting it into the boat, it just keeps trying to bite your ankles.”


25 Comments

  1. SLOBIRD says:

    Let us not forget that Jan Marx is also an attorney and therefore her and Christine think they can out smart Judge Crandall. It is amazing to me how Jan and the council who are proclaimed Democrats who encourage and support occupy the flavor of the day all of a sudden get a Jesus moment about ‘not in my backyard”. The homeless need to set up an occupy movement and stay on Prado. The occupiers were allowed at the Courthouse for how many weeks without any legal actions. Amazing how justifications for one issue is accepted but bring out the militia for another…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5

  2. Ted Slanders says:

    .
    Christians, who was the number one homeless? Jesus was! (Matthew 8:20)

    SLO City Council, Christine Dietrick, the police, take note of what our God commands, to wit: “For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’ (Deuteronomy 15:11)

    Jesus COMMANDED the Christian to take care of the homeless! Who is any alleged Christian to usurp Jesus’ commands? Furthermore, Jesus said; “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” ( Luke 6:46) To the aforementioned above, do you know more than Jesus the Christ? No you don’t!

    When the above mentioned doesn’t perform what our God commands them to do regarding the homeless, then they become hypocrites. As the astute understands, the hypocrite is a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs. Biblical fact, Jesus despised hypocrites! (Matthew 6:2, Matthew 6:5, Matthew 6:16, Matthew 7:5).

    The inspired word states; “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” ( 1 John 3:16-17)

    To the hypocrites mentioned above, Jesus said, to wit: “ If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.” (John 15:6)

    “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.” (Matthew 23:15)

    Absolutely no one within the San Luis Obispo City Government pertaining to this issue can even get close to calling themselves Christians. “An ungodly Hypocrite” is a better name for them, notwithstanding, also the local community that are alleged Christians that shows a blind eye to the homeless as well.

    Pseudo-christians, don’t even try to engage me relative to biblical axioms, because I’ll give you a patent pending Jesus Slap Down that you’ll remember until your demise! Therefore, all you can do is just show us your ungodly and hypocritical stance to the above biblical enlightenment by hitting the “dislike” button below, and then running away as usual.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 20 Thumb down 22

    • abigchocoholic says:

      Jesus H. Christ, you know your Jesus. (Know what the H. stands for?)

      I think your patent pending just turned into a patent. You now have 17 years of a monopoly on your Jesus slap down teachings.

      Definitely, a gift of the gab.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

      • Ted Slanders says:

        abigchocohoic,

        The “H” traditionally stands of “Holy”.

        As you can obvioulsy see ad infinitum, there is not one pseudo-christian that will step up to the plate to discuss any of my godly posts that are directly on topic. There were a few early on, but they fell by the wayside for obvious reasons.

        The only thing that the pseudo-christian can do to my godly enlightenment of the topic at hand, is to be astonished that their bible actually said what I posted, and then before running, disagree with the Chrisitan God’s direct word by clicking on the “dislike” button. Funny, huh?

        Like I’ve said before, 99.99 percent of all Christians are “Burger King Christians”, where they want their bible “their way”, and not truly God’s way. They’ll pay for their ungodly views upon Judgment Day. Praise Jesus’ revenge in the way of the sulfur lakes of Hell that they will be swimming in for eternity!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  3. obispan says:

    So the problem with the ordinance was related to the sleeping baby on the way back from a day at the beach=taking a dump in a bucket on Prado Road? O.K., fixed. Now on to the real issue, not an activist judge playing legal gotcha with the City Attorney. And yes, this will cost the City a poop-load in legal fees, that is Rizzo and Jenkins’ strategy. The only solution I can think of is to cede a portion of the City to the homeless, sorry Prado Road property owners – and maybe yours next if you don’t live in Judge Crandall’s neighborhood. I see no reason not to set up shop downtown. I’m thinking the parking meters are unconstitutional. Any social service efforts by government/quasi-government agencies have already been rejected if ANY conditions are attached.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 13

    • bobfromsanluis says:

      Um, what have you been smoking? The “issue” is the Constitution of the United States being violated by our city council following the “work” of our city attorney, trying to enforce an ordinance that specifically targets those that have a vehicle with no place to park it, and they are living in those vehicles, which the judge ruled against once already. Your assertions and “solution” seem way off base; I have confidence in attorneys Jenkins and Rizzo are in this fight for the principle, not monetary. There are solutions available, ticketing the homeless living in their vehicles is not one of them, IMO. Unless you are a government employee working on this issue with either the city or county, how do you know that “any social service efforts by government/quasi-government agencies” are all totally eliminated as a possibility? Do you think that it is okay that the one program that required the participants to sign over 70% of their income/assistance is a fair trade for a safe parking space with facilities?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 3

      • obispan says:

        Yes I do. The 70% is not being taken, it is being managed, as it would be by a trustee, badly needed, but “unconstitutional”. And I know that everything offered is rejected as unacceptable not by working for the City or County, but by reading the Cal Coast News and the less useful Tribune. It’s the equivalent of rejecting food stamps unless they pay for gin and caviar and then hold the government accountable for your having no food. “There are solutions available”. Really? Have you come up with something nobody has thought of? I think not. Lots of blame, no solutions. And no, I don’t think Jenkins and Rizzo are in this for any productive reason. What have I been smoking? Reality, have a toke!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

  4. jackbnimble says:

    In this article and all related ones, I keep seeing that the homeless are “camping” or “sleeping” on Prado Road. But let’s change the verb here and call it what it is: they’re -living- on Prado Road. There’s no rent, no mortgage, no sewer system (isn’t that what bothers the businesses there the most – people going #1 & 2 at the side of the road). And like me where I live, I am there all night (eating, sleeping, etc.) and then I leave i the morning to go to a different part of town to try to make money (for me, it is at my job downtown). Using the verb “living” also carries more of a sense of permanence, which may be what people are most concerned about.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 9

    • Slowerfaster says:

      Hmmm…sounds like you would be for outlawing certain types of people ‘living’.

      That could be a definition for genocide.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 11

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