ACLU settles Santa Monica homeless civil rights suit

A homeless person sleeps under a tree, protecting himself against rain and cold, 17 January 2007 in Santa Monica, California.
A homeless person sleeps under a tree, protecting himself against rain and cold, 17 January 2007 in Santa Monica, California. GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images

SANTA MONICA - The American Civil Liberties Union has agreed to settle its civil rights suit against Santa Monica over the city's treatment of the homeless.

A federal judge in Los Angeles dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice on Friday, which means the ACLU is prohibited from bringing the suit again on the same claim.

The ACLU argued that Santa Monica made it a crime to be homeless. The suit claimed that police routinely violated homeless people's constitutional rights and the Americans With Disabilities Act by harassing and arresting them without providing sufficient shelter beds.

The city defended its efforts to get the homeless into housing with support for people with mental illness and addiction.

Santa Monica and ACLU officials say settlement details will be released on June 8.

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