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Desertrain v. City of Los Angeles
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
754 F.3d 1147 (2014)
The City of Los Angeles (City) (defendant) enacted a municipal code prohibiting individuals from using parked vehicles as living quarters overnight, day-to-day, or otherwise. Cheyenne Desertrain and six other homeless individuals (plaintiffs) were arrested or cited for violating the law based on various activities, namely eating food inside a car; having a sleeping bag, canned goods, and books in a vehicle; talking on a cell phone in a car; and staying in a car to get out of the rain. Many other times, the plaintiffs had not been cited for conduct that could fall under the purview of the law. The plaintiffs filed suit in federal district court against the City and individual police officers (defendants), claiming that the law was unconstitutionally vague on its face because it failed to provide sufficient notice of the penalized conduct and promoted arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The district court denied the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment and granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment. The plaintiffs appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Pregerson, J.)
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