imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Civil Rights Groups Sue Caltrans to Stop Illegal Raids Against California's Homeless

by via ACLU of Northern California idVer:3a93a7e Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017 at 4:05 PM

Civil Rights Groups Sue Caltrans to Stop Illegal Raids Against California's Homeless

Oakland, December 13, 2016 - A lawsuit filed today by civil rights groups charges the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) with violating the constitutional rights of homeless people by confiscating and destroying their property in ongoing sweeps. On multiple occasions, Caltrans has failed to give proper notice before raiding encampments—refusing plaintiffs an opportunity to move their belongings before destroying them in trash compactors.


The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, East Bay Community Law Center, and the law firm of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP (WilmerHale) have filed suit and are seeking a permanent injunction to stop this illegal practice throughout California. According to the complaint, the individual plaintiffs have lost cherished and necessary items, including family heirlooms, irreplaceable photographs of loved ones, tents and sleeping bags, warm weather clothing, mechanics’ tools, food, camp stoves, bicycles, and personal documents.

The raids are carried out by Caltrans workers, sometimes with the assistance of the CHP, using compactor trucks to confiscate tents and shopping carts full of personal belongings, usually crushing them on the spot—often with the owners watching and protesting. The complaint notes that these sweeps are in violation of the United States and California State Constitutions, California statutory and common law, and Caltrans’ own policies.

“I don’t want to be homeless on the streets of Oakland forever,” said plaintiff James Leone. “Caltrans has been a major obstacle to getting my life together. Twice in six years, I’ve been left with only the clothes on my back. Twice I’ve lost everything I own in the world.”

“All people, including the homeless, have a right to the Fourth Amendment’s protections against unreasonable seizure of property, and the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections against the deprivation of property without due process of law,” said Elisa Della-Piana, Legal Director at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area.

“As housing becomes more expensive and increasingly scarce in the Bay Area and around the state, we have seen our homeless populations increase in size and vulnerability,” said Keith Slenkovich, a WilmerHale partner who filed the complaint today. “Caltrans is violating homeless individuals’ constitutional rights by improperly seizing their property. We are asking the Court to stop these unlawful seizures to protect the rights of some of California’s most vulnerable individuals.”

The complaint notes that Caltrans has agreed in two prior cases to stop seizing and immediately destroying homeless people’s property. In 1992 and 2006, Caltrans settled similar cases and ceased conducting illegal sweeps for several years. As a result of litigation in 2006, Caltrans enacted a policy that requires that Caltrans properly post notice of impending sweeps, allow homeless individuals to remove their possessions before commencing a sweep, and collect and store any items of apparent value so they can be claimed by their owners after the sweep. Caltrans is now in violation of this policy.

The class-action suit was brought in Alameda County Superior Court. The suit requests a permanent injunction to stop Caltrans from continuing to violate the law, as well as damages for people whose property has been illegally taken and destroyed in Oakland, Emeryville, and Berkeley.

An estimated 4,040 of Alameda County’s residents are homeless, according to a March 2016 report by the Alameda County Public Health Department in collaboration with the organization EveryOne Home. The study found that “the number of people becoming newly homeless has increased as the economic recovery has failed to improve incomes for most individuals and families, vacancy rates have decreased, rents have increased significantly, and public resources to ensure adequate housing for all are diminishing.”


Sanchez v. Caltrans client Kimberlee Sanchez

Kimberlee Sanchez is a longtime Oakland resident. She has been homeless in Oakland for five years. Sanchez has experienced so many Caltrans sweeps she has lost count. On one occasion in May of 2016, Caltrans confiscated and destroyed her belongings even though she was residing on city property. On that day, Sanchez lost an 18 karat gold necklace that had been a gift for Mother’s Day, a Coleman stove, food and groceries, all her bedding and clothing, and a tent. Caltrans also took a manila folder full of claims Sanchez had collected from community members who had also had their belongings destroyed – and threw it in the trash compacter.

“If you are not with your belongings when Caltrans comes, they will throw everything away and destroy it. In the course of the time that I have been living on the street, I have had my belongings taken by Caltrans between five and ten times. I have lost count. If I kept counting it would drive me crazy.”

Sanchez v. Caltrans client Christopher Craner

Christopher Craner is a landscaper by trade, and was employed as a gardener by the Oakland Parks Department for ten years. Craner has been homeless on the streets of Oakland since 2014, after starting a landscaping business in Stockton and then moving back to Oakland to be nearer to his children. In March of 2015, a Caltrans sweep left Craner with nothing but the clothes on his back. While Caltrans conducted the sweep, Craner went to help a friend move their tent and was threatened with arrest when he tried to return for his own property. He watched everything he owned be thrown into the crusher of a garbage truck. Among other items, Craner lost warm weather clothing, a set of tools he used for intermittent work repairing cars, precious family antiques, tents, sleeping bags, and camping gear. In the hopes that some of his belongings had survived the sweep, he called Caltrans repeatedly, to no avail.

“I don’t know anyone who has ever gotten their property back. Not one person. And I know several people who have tried. They’ve never gotten even a phone call back. I’ve been trying to get off the streets. Having to deal with Caltrans has not made that easier.”

Sanchez v. Caltrans client James Leone

James Leone is a 56-year old Bay Area native who moved to Oakland 29 years ago. He is a trained mechanic who lost his job in the recession in 2008. When Leone couldn’t find a new job after being laid off, he sold all his belongings to make ends meet and still ended up homeless. In April of 2016, Caltrans arrived at Leone’s camp and told him he had five minutes to move his belongings. Within three minutes, Caltrans began throwing his property into a compaction garbage truck. Even though Leone’s bicycle was not on Caltrans property, it was thrown in the compactor. When Leone pulled his bicycle out of the compactor, a Caltrans worker threatened him with a Taser. That day, Leone lost a sleeping mat and bedding, all his clothing except what he was wearing, camping equipment, his Walkman, a family photo album, and a personal phone book. Because his sister’s phone number was in the phone book, he hasn’t been able to contact her since.

“I’ve made money helping people with their cars and doing odd jobs. I recycle and dumpster dive. I have dreams and aspirations for my life. I don’t want to be homeless on the streets of Oakland forever. CalTrans has been a major obstacle to getting my life together. Twice in six years, I’ve been left with only the clothes on my back. Twice I’ve lost everything I own in the world.”

Sanchez v. Caltrans client Patricia Moore

Patricia Moore graduated from the University of Alabama with a BA in physical therapy, and originally became homeless when a shoulder injury prevented her from continuing to work as a physical therapist. In 2013, Moore was hit by a car while riding her bicycle, and now uses a cane and a walker to help with mobility. Caltrans has taken and destroyed her belongings on at least five separate occasions. On April 29, 2016, Moore was packing up her bags in anticipation of a Caltrans sweep when Caltrans workers arrived an hour earlier than indicated by their posted notice, and immediately begin confiscating her property. They threw her tent into a compactor, took her bicycle, and almost threw away her walker before a friend of Moore’s intervened.

“One of the workers looked at me and said, “I’m going to take everything that you have.” They would start at one end of the line of tents along the sidewalk and work their way down it, throwing belongings into the trucks. They always came with a compactor garbage truck.”

ACLU of Northern California

Download complaint:
Report this post as:

Local News


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Doxa du lobby A25 2:03AM

Tech workers organize A24 6:24PM

Architect Stephen Francis Jones A24 3:01PM

UN Forum Wrestles with Economic Policies 10 Years After Financial Crisis Islands Call for A24 12:34PM

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

Shadowgun Legends Hack and Cheats A23 7:24AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy