Court Strikes Down Judge’s Order in Skid Row Homelessness Lawsuit

23September 2021

A federal appeals court vacated a Los Angeles judge’s sweeping order forcing local government to offer shelter to every unhoused person on Skid Row by the middle of next month.

A panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals determined that the district court had “abused its discretion” because it didn’t have authority to issue an injunction based on claims not pled in the complaint brought last year by a coalition of downtown business owners and residents of the Skid Row area against the county and city of Los Angeles.

The lawsuit was brought by a broad coalition of downtown businesses and residents seeking to force the city and county to step up their response to the rising number of homeless encampments on local streets and near freeways.

U.S. District Judge David O. Carter earlier determined that the county’s claims of immunity are “inapplicable” against some of the plaintiffs’ allegations in the suit.

In the lawsuit, L.A. Alliance contends that the county has wasted money in fighting homelessness. Carter wrote Tuesday that the plaintiffs have shown that “at least some degree of government spending has been ‘unnecessary or useless’ in tackling the homelessness problem.”

NBCLA has reached out to the city attorney’s office for comment.

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