Thursday, September 13, 2007

Controversial homeless ordinance
taken off the books

Town officials of rural Elkton, Maryland, have voted to retract
an anti-loitering law at the center of a civil rights lawsuit.

The ordinance made it unlawful to beg in public places, loiter, congregate, or prowl "in a place, at a time or in a manner not usual for law-abiding individuals." The lawsuit asserts that the ordinance was unconstitutional because it unfairly targeted homeless people.

After the town cleared a homeless encampment in August 2006, the Maryland ACLU filed a lawsuit on behalf of those homeless individuals who lost personal belongings.

Deborah Jeon, a lawyer for the Maryland ACLU, said the portion of the lawsuit that challenges the loitering ordinance will be dropped. But the ACLU will continue to seek for "compensation for the property losses" suffered by the plaintiffs.

Read the Baltimore Sun report here. And see previous post here.


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