Jones v. City of Los Angeles
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
444 F.3d 1118 (2006)
The City of Los Angeles (City) (defendant) enacted an ordinance prohibiting any individual from sitting, lying, or sleeping on a public street or sidewalk at any time. Edward Jones and five other homeless individuals (plaintiffs) living in the City’s Skid Row district were arrested for violating the ordinance. Skid Row contained the largest concentration of homeless individuals in the nation. Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the plaintiffs filed a civil suit in federal district court against the City and the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) (defendant), claiming that the ordinance violated their Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. The plaintiffs sought limited injunctive relief from enforcement of the ordinance during nighttime hours, or against the disabled at any time. The parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment. The district court granted the defendants’ motion, holding that the ordinance did not violate the Eighth Amendment, because it penalized conduct rather than status. The plaintiffs appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Wardlaw, J.)
Dissent (Rymer, J.)
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