LA order that all homeless people be rehoused by October is overturned by judges

City and county had appealed the order made by Judge David Carter in April

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Thursday 23 September 2021 21:36
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The City of Los Angeles no longer has to move the entire homeless population of its Skid Row area into shelters by October after an order was struck down by a panel of judges.

A federal appeals court unanimously overturned US District Court Judge David Carter’s decision, which he gave officials in the California city earlier this year.

The three-judge panel of the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Judge Carter had failed to follow basic legal requirements in making his order.

He had made the decision following a lawsuit brought against the city by a group of downtown Los Angeles business owners, residents and some formerly homeless people.

Both the city and the county had appealed his ruling.

“We won an important victory in the Ninth Circuit today, but Los Angeles remains in the grips of a homelessness crisis,” said City Attorney Mike Feuer in a statement.

“All officials need to share Judge Carter’s intense sense of urgency.

“With today’s ruling, the ball is now squarely in the court of elected leaders. That means deeper collaboration between the City and County, additional state and federal resources, fundamental improvements in engaging people experiencing homelessness, and more – driving to real solutions that reduce street homelessness and make our public spaces once again safe and accessible for everyone.”

In April Judge Carter ordered the city to place $1bn, its whole homelessness budget, into escrow to make sure it was not being wasted, and gave the city 180 days to offer shelter the thousands of people living on the 50-block area Skid Row.

The judge has ordered a December status conference to discuss where the case now stands.

The appeals panel ruled that most of the people who sued the city and county had no legal standing to bring the case, and that Judge Carter used “novel” legal theories that no one had argued.

They also said that he had ruled claims that no one had alleged in the case and on evidence that had not been given in court.

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