Saturday, September 17, 2011

Colorado Supreme Court declines
to hear homeless camping case

A Boulder attorney is vowing to continue his crusade against the city's anti-camping law even after the Colorado Supreme Court refused to hear a case alleging the ordinance is unconstitutional.

In a split decision, the high court justices announced that they would not take up the case of David Madison vs. City of Boulder.

The decision means that Madison -- a homeless man in Boulder who was convicted of camping without a permit after police found him sleeping in a sleeping bag on Nov. 24, 2009 -- likely will have to pay a fine of $50 or perform five hours of community service.

But beyond the single case, the decision also essentially upholds Boulder's law that forbids sleeping overnight on public property.

"Obviously, we're disappointed," said David Harrison, one of Madison's attorneys, who helped appeal the case along with the American Civil Liberties Union.

The appeal was based on the theory that Boulder's anti-camping law violates state and federal constitutional prohibitions against cruel and unusual punishments, contravenes due process guarantees and infringes on the constitutionally protected right to travel.

Read the Boulder Daily Camera report here.

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