Judge Ends SB’s Eviction Of Homeless From Its Parks

Federal Judge Terry Hatter Jr. has issued a preliminary injunction preventing the City of San Bernardino from removing unhoused people living in its parks and on the city’s sidewalks and public area. Judge Hatter’s ruling, issued January 12, was made in reaction to a lawsuit filed by the social action group SoCal Trash Army on behalf of three individuals – Lenka John, James Tyson and Noel Harner – who were down and out and living in Meadowbrook Park. The city, which declared homelessness a local emergency in February 2023, used the duplicitous stratagem of closing the park for maintenance in May 2023. The city said it would offer them some alternative but never did. In his ruling, Judge Hatter made a finding that the city discarded and/or destroyed the displaced homeless residents’ belongings, did not accommodate their needs and “likely” engaged in a violation of their constitutional rights as well as those under the Americans with Disabilities Act .
Judge Hatter barred the city from removing or displacing unhoused residents and their belongings pending both further judicial review of the matter. He said the court would consider vacating the order if the city can formulate a binding policy by which it replaces homeless encampments with housing options for those to be displaced.
The county together with volunteers and assistance from municipalities yesterday conducted the 2024 Point-In-Time Count, an annual survey of the county’s homeless population. The 2023 Point-In-Time Count conducted on January 26, 2023 pegged the number of unhoused in the City of San Bernardino at 1,502, which comprised 35.8 percent of the 4,195 homeless in the county.

Leave a Reply