Los Angeles is dropping an appeal of a court ruling preventing city workers from summarily removing and destroying homeless people's property left on Skid Row sidewalks.
The decision Monday by City Attorney Mike Feuer ends a long-running legal battle between the city and activists for the homeless over storage of homeless people's personal effects, the Los Angeles Times reported. Feuer declined to comment.
Eight Skid Row residents filed suit in 2011, accusing city workers, accompanied by police, of confiscating and dumping their personal possessions including medication, identification, cellphones and toiletries.
City officials said allowing homeless people to leave belongings on sidewalks creates a health hazard and violates municipal ordinances.
In a 2-1 decision, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the confiscations violated homeless people's Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable seizures. The belongings could be taken only if they posed an immediate public health threat or were evidence of a crime, the ruling said.
Los Angeles repeatedly sought to appeal or modify the decision, but lost several rounds in court, most recently in June 2013.
Civil rights attorney Carol Sobel, who represented the homeless people, said the city failed to do anything meaningful during the long legal struggle to reduce the number of people on Skid Row or improve their living conditions.
The city has expanded free storage bins for homeless people in downtown Los Angeles and Venice, the Times said. Several deep-cleaning operations were launched downtown and in Venice, especially after the county cited the city for serious hygiene issues on Skid Row.
Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com