Appeals court reverses order requiring LA to house all of Skid Row’s homeless

Panel said lower court judge’s ruling “was largely based on unpled claims and theories”

Los Angeles /
Sep.September 24, 2021 12:42 PM
(Getty Images)

An appeals court reversed a lower court judge’s order from April that required Los Angeles to house all of Skid Row’s homeless by the fall.

The appeals panel said in an opinion issued Thursday that District Court Judge David O. Carter’s “order was largely based on unpled claims and theories,” according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

The dispute stems from a March 2020 lawsuit filed against the city and county by an umbrella advocacy group, L.A. Alliance for Human Rights. The group broadly alleged the city and county failed to address a mounting homelessness crisis.

The city and county argue that the issue should be addressed by elected officials and not the courts.

Carter in April ordered the city to offer housing to everyone on the streets in Skid Row by Oct. 18 and put $1 billion in an escrow account to fund support services.

The city and county appealed the decision and in May an appeals court awarded an injunction, pausing Carter’s order. They also asked for the suit to be tossed.

Carter’s order was based on findings that racism was a key driver of homelessness in L.A., something the L.A. Alliance for Human Rights did not use as a basis for its complaint.

The appeals court found Carter “impermissibly resorted to independent research and extra-record evidence” for his order.

Carter himself took L.A. County attorneys on a tour of Skid Row in April, which included a demonstration showing handwashing stations did not work.

The L.A. Alliance said in a statement that it looked “forward to returning to Judge Carter’s courtroom in the coming weeks.”

L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer — who is running for mayor — praised Carter’s “intense sense of urgency,” but said “with today’s ruling, the ball is now squarely in the court of elected leaders.”

[LADN] — Dennis Lynch





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