Judge sets settlement conference between SLO and homeless

June 1, 2012

Stew Jenkins interviewing homeless clients.


San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Judge Charles Crandall set a mandatory settlement conference for the end of June regarding claims the city of San Luis Obispo is unjustly ticketing homeless people who sleep in their cars.

In April, attorneys Saro Rizzo and Stew Jenkins filed the suit that accuses the city of San Luis Obispo and the chief of police of discrimination, harassment and the criminalization of homeless people.

At Thursdays hearing, Rizzo and Jenkins asked the court to issue a preliminary injunction to prohibit further ticketing of homeless persons living in their vehicles until the case is settled on the basis the enforcement is in breach of the state and federal constitutiions. In addition, they argued that the ticketing violates the state vehicle code.

The city’s Oakland based attorney firm of Burke Williams & Sorensen filed a demur asking that the court reject the case on the basis that city councils have the same power as the state legislature and that cities can impose rules prohibiting people from sleeping in their cars.

After both sides argued their points, Judge Crandall ordered the settlement conference and  took the motions under submission. Crandall then urged the city to voluntarily refrain from issuing citations while a settlement is being discussed.



  1. MilesBerrett says:

    Hi there one of those homeless people that you folks demonize. I gather from the general banter on this website that there is a perception all the trouble makers are from out of town. Most of the tweekers and drunks who are at the the Mission Plaza are local grown. Folks from out of town just cruise right through this area due to the laws and the SLOPD making it clear that they are not welcome. But it I guess they all look the same to you.

    I am one of those from out of town cut off from my family and any support network. I would gladly leave this strange land but I am stuck here on probation. Sure I could run but the reality is I will be dragged back. I am currently going to school and actively looking for work. I don’t ask for hand outs on Higuara. I just collect cans or work temp jobs to pay for my probation expenses; and to sleep by the creek, hoping the cops don’t come by in the morning.

    There are a lot of people who just can’t or won’t work. But then there are a lot of us who gladly take any job that comes up. Making generalizations that all the homeless people are deadbeat drug addicts is the same thing as saying that the Jews were responsible for all of Germany’s problems in the 1930’s.

    There is no clear cut solution to the fact that homeless situation. It seems like the only solutions that Dee Torres and Adam Hill have to the homeless problem is to throw more money at it. CAPSLO makes a chunk of change at the taxpayers expense every time that somebody signs into the day center. That is what keeps Dee Torres employed. If there wasn’t a “homeless problem” she would be at the unemployment office. The mismanagement of the day center and shelter just creates a “Trail of Tallcans” between Prado and Orcutt and enables a lot of people to be comfortable with being homeless. Shelters and day centers don’t get people off the streets; people only get out of the gutters if they learn to help themselves.

    I don’t have any real solutions just ideas like the rest of you. How about this one, a requirement stating that folks getting Disability and SSI must find a home. Coupled more affordable living for folks living on monthly checks. Or maybe bring back some of the return to work policies of the New Deal (Unemployment is at hovering around 8%). And really if you want to prevent at least 20% of crime shift more money to helping the mentally disabled. All I know is locking people up and ticketing them for money they don’t have is backwards thinking. It cost the taxpayer money to house and feed inmates so you might as well give them change on the streets. Honestly none of my ideas will completely eliminate poverty. It is and always will be an ongoing effort.

    (3) 7 Total Votes - 5 up - 2 down
    • zaphod says:

      one of those homeless people that -some of- you folks demonize.
      full employment should be a national policy . we bought tanks instead of trucks . sow the wind reap the whirlwind.

      (-2) 8 Total Votes - 3 up - 5 down
    • RU4Real says:

      Miles, you stated you were “stuck here” due to being on probation…Why are you on probation & what were you doing HERE that got you into trouble in the first place??? The answers to THOSE questions might help with a “solution” to the “out of the area transients”…I also gather that you are attending “school” (which is commendable) on the taxpayers dime…Should’nt your “place of origin” be held responsible for “assisting you” & not the taxpayers of SLO County??? Did YOU chose to cut yourself off from your family & “support system”…Was it something YOU did to cause the rift? If so, that’s pretty telling…

      (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down
      • MilesBerrett says:

        Well RU4Real I was expecting a response like that. Those solutions were for homeless people all over the country. I am stuck here over a fight that the other person started. I don’t know if the whole stand your ground thing means anything to you. And the school thing is on a loan that I will have to pay back. People that don’t pay the money that they owe back are just part of the problem. The hard working tax payers of SLO don’t have to worry about me…I can take care of myself. And about the whole family thing, I am a the “rugged individualist” type…So once again I can take care of myself.

        I sense the the local attitude through you words. I am sure that you don’t care but “localism” is just another word for xenophobia. There is a obvious sound of fear and hate in all your postings. If you are like most Americans these days you are one or two paychecks from sleeping under a bridge or in your car yourself. I sincerely hope that will be the case for you and your family. But If that did happen I am sure you will be in the same boat as me. I don’t want a handout, I just want a chance to work and contribute to this society.

        (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
        • RU4Real says:

          Miles, you seem sincere regarding your efforts to find a job & hopefully a more productive life…Good luck with your endeavors…It’s tough out there, we’re in the worst economy we’ve ever had. This is even worse than what my Father told me about the “Great Depression”…

          (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
          • Slowerfaster says:

            Just imagine what it would be like if we didn’t have Social Security, Medicare, and what’s left of a shredded safety net !

            Republicans are the problem. Republicans are the enemy !

            (-2) 2 Total Votes - 0 up - 2 down
  2. obispan says:

    Sounds like the judge has already made his decision. Screw Prado Road, I’ll bet the whole show moves downtown! Isn’t living near where you “work” encouraged?

    (9) 17 Total Votes - 13 up - 4 down
    • willieslo says:

      “Crandall then urged the city to voluntarily refrain from issuing citations while a settlement is being discussed.:”

      Sounds like the judge has already made his decision.

      I saw the same thing. It is NOT the judges’s place to motion a stay of action!

      (2) 6 Total Votes - 4 up - 2 down
  3. kwake says:

    SLO should give everyone of these people gas money to get out of town. Save us all a bunch of trouble.It is illegal for me to sleep in my car. I can not do it. so why can they? The city has to enforce the laws no matter who it is.
    oh wait.. im homeless so laws do not apply to me? thats junk.
    San luis Obispo has become over run with bums. Drunk drugged out walking down the middle of the streets.. I saw one fall down drunk right into the road the other day.. get them out of town.
    Did you know the police round up the vagrants before farmers market every week so our city will look better? this happens every week..

    (10) 26 Total Votes - 18 up - 8 down
    • Slowerfaster says:

      Better yet, I would contribute to an “ANTI-FASCIST FUND” .
      There are WAY TOO MANY Fascists running around here …breathing our air and using societies resources while only taking or STEALING, and just wasting space.
      They will be re-located to tropical paradises like Montserrat, Rakata and Santorini. Those less disposed to heat will be settled on Jan Mayen Island.
      The Fascists can then engage in typical commerce with each other, and can kill their fellow islanders at pleasure and convenience….leaving the rest of us to build and enjoy civilization.

      Good plan, Eh ?

      (-10) 16 Total Votes - 3 up - 13 down
  4. RU4Real says:

    OMG! I can’t believe that SLO has hired Burke Williams & Sorenson to represent the City…I’m sure that SLO is VERY aware of all the damage BWS (especially Julie Biggs) caused for the folks in Los Osos…Just ask the “Taxpayer Watch” folks about HER track record…As for the homeless, Law Enforcement needs to step up enforcement of ALL the laws these derelicts are breaking…Clean up the streets for the rest of us…

    (7) 21 Total Votes - 14 up - 7 down
  5. cheseburger says:

    “and that cities can impose rules prohibiting people from sleeping in their cars.”

    Well Karen heard you on the radio, my hat and kudos are off to you again, had to get the ball rolling everybody is afraid of what they don’t know enough about. Great article these are the people who need help worst than the pelicans being chopped by the bullie seals at port san luis.

    Why can’t the city annex and donate a self productive camp ground! Makes sense to me or wait with a shotgun, until they crawl in your window!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    (-13) 23 Total Votes - 5 up - 18 down
    • cheseburger says:

      “Crandall then urged the city to voluntarily refrain from issuing citations while a settlement is being discussed.”

      Alas a judge with a sense of compassion! Well done your honor Crandall!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Anybody else give a dam either way, I like it way out on a limb, okay which side do I put the chain saw on again.

      (-15) 21 Total Votes - 3 up - 18 down

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