Sacramento Barred From Clearing Homeless Camps Until at Least Sept. 1 due to Heat, Judge Rules

A federal judge has extended an order barring the city of Sacramento from clearing homeless encampments, due to extreme heat.

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The city cannot clear camps until at least Sept. 1, Judge Troy L. Nunley said in a ruling Wednesday. Previously the order was set to expire Thursday.

Under the order, first issued Aug. 3 as the result of a Sacramento Homeless Union lawsuit, the city can still enforce its ordinance that bans camps from fully blocking sidewalks.

“To the extent possible, unhoused individuals should be given an opportunity to comply with the sidewalk ordinance at their given location,” the order stated.

District Attorney Thien Ho last week criticized the city for not citing homeless people who block the sidewalks, as its ordinance allows it to do. He has threatened criminal and civil action against city officials.

Mayor Steinberg has accused Ho of politicizing the issue of homelessness and pointed out that homeless people typically lack the ability to pay fines. Instead of issuing citations, when residents complain of blocked sidewalks, city employees routinely respond to the scene and tell them to move their items to make room for a four-foot walkway.

Nunley’s order also allows the city to clear camps that are within 500 feet of a school, and to pick up trash from camps, as long as it does not remove personal survival items.

It also requires the city to let the Sacramento Homeless Union to tour its Miller Park Safe Ground, a sanctioned encampment.

The union has raised concerns that the Safe Ground is too hot because the tents are located in the sun. The city has agreed to provide structures over tents in areas without shade, and alternative tents, such as those made of canvas, to provide better protection from the heat, the order stated.

Also Wednesday, Nunley ruled that the city must submit a court filing explaining why it should not be held in contempt of court and sanctioned for violating the order earlier this month.

The city on Aug. 4 and Aug. 7 cleared homeless people from outside City Hall, in violation of the order. The city told its police not to clear camps, but was “not effective,” in telling a contractor that handles City Hall, a spokesman said at the time.

The city has until Aug. 23 to submit the filing.

Click here to read the full article from the Sacramento Bee via Yahoo


  1. Sacramento has a “Homeless Union”? Do they also donate to the ruling Junta?

  2. That judge ought to be voted out at the next election. He really has no clue how the world really works, to the great detriment of the citizens paying his salary. Anyplace that does not coddle the homeless junkies and be all politically correct about “finding them housing” that they don’t want would soon find that their homeless population has decreased about 60-90%. The rest who through unforeseeable circumstances find themselves evicted and jobless, but who just need temporary help and will soon be on their feet again as productive society members, can be provided temporary housing and social assistance. Substance addictions–drugs and alcohol–are the CAUSE of homelessness and much mental illness, not the lack of jobs or suitable housing for them. Suitable housing should be jails, or for those whose meth addiction or alcohol addiction has made them psychotic or demented, mental institutions.

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