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Los Angeles Councilmen Consider Suing Culver City over Homeless

Image is a homeless man looking down.Martin Feinberg, Culver City Realtor, was surprised to learn that Los Angeles Councilmen Mike Bonin and Joe Buscaino are considering suing Culver City, Santa Monica, and El Segundo for failure to comply with a ruling by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals concerning the homeless.

According to a 2018 L.A. Times article on the issue, the ruling by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals stated that “a homeless individual may not be held criminally responsible for sleeping on government property when no alternative shelter is available.”

The ruling came from an incident where homeless individuals sued the City of Boise in Idaho for violating their constitutional rights when the city arrested them for sleeping on public property when there were no beds available in local shelters.

Councilman Bonin, whose districts board Culver City, Santa Monica, and El Segundo, has accused the cities of failing to comply with that Court of Appeals’ decision.

Bonin stated, “Instead of allowing people to sleep on their sidewalks, they are encouraging people, or compelling people, to move to the city of Los Angeles to do that.”

The latest news on Los Angeles’ homeless population revealed a 16% increase in homelessness over the last year, despite the city’s efforts to combat the problem.

Culver City Councilman Alex Fisch, at a meeting last week, provided statistics from the Culver City Police Department that contested Bonin’s claims however. During his comments Fisch stated the CCPD assisted many homeless in finding shelter and mental services within the Culver City Real Estate area. Out of all of the interactions that police had with the homeless, only two arrests were made for drug possession.

Tevis Barnes, housing administrator for Culver City has also stated that her job is to make sure that Culver City is in compliance with the 9th Circuit ruling, which it is.  Santa Monica officials have said the same thing regarding their compliance with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling.

Martin Feinberg, Realtor, notes that despite claims by city officials to the contrary, L.A. councilman Bonin continues to argue that while the city of Los Angeles is obeying the court’s orders, Culver City is not.

Image is a homeless man on a sidewalk in a sleeping bag with a sign and cup next to him.