Homeless Sacramentans take the City to Court

People who have lost property when they were homeless from Sacramento City Police and other city personnel, are going to Federal Court starting May 9, 2011. This is the continuation of the Class Action Lawsuit Lehr, et al vs. City of Sacramento and County of Sacramento. This case was brought against the City and County of Sacramento because they had made it a habit of disposing of homeless people’s property without notifying them beforehand, and without storing the confiscated property for later retrieval. To be a member of the class this had to have happened to them after August 2, 2005.

In 2009 Plaintiffs and Defendants entered into Mediation to help resolve the claim. Out of the mediation process the County of Sacramento and the Plaintiffs reached a settlement agreement. $200,000 was distributed to people who had their possessions taken and destroyed by County personnel, mostly from County Sheriff’s work crews and County Park Rangers. The County also agreed to certain procedures when dealing with homeless person’s property, such as giving a 48 hour notice, and notice where they can pick up their possessions at a nearby location. That portion of the case is now closed and no more claims can be filed from the county.

The City of Sacramento did not reach a settlement agreement during the mediation process, so the case will continue on in Federal Court starting May 9, 2011. The hearings will take place every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for three weeks, from 9am to 5pm. The Law Offices of Mark Merin are the attorneys for the Plaintiffs, with Cathleen Williams and Mark Merin as the attorneys that will be bringing the case to court. Many homeless witnesses will be attending and the public is encouraged to attend to show support. It should prove to be very interesting.

Lehr, et al. vs City of Sacramento, et al.
May 9-11, 16-28, 23-25
Federal Court Building
501 I Street
Court Room 7, 14th Floor