Judge sets settlement conference between SLO and homeless
June 1, 2012
By KAREN VELIE
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.