L.A. appeals homeless possessions ruling

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Skid Row in Los Angeles

Skid Row in Los Angeles (AP Photo)

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Attorneys for the city of Los Angeles are appealing a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court that prevents the seizure and destruction of possessions that homeless people leave on sidewalks.

City Attorney Carmen Trutanich filed the appeal on Thursday, arguing that allowing homeless people to store belongings on sidewalks causes a health hazard, noting a current outbreak of tuberculosis among the homeless as proof of a need for street-cleaning.

The city and activists for the homeless have gone back and forth over the issue for years. In Los Angeles and other cities, courts have ruled that homeless people’s personal belongings temporarily left on sidewalks cannot be confiscated.

Currently, the city must notify people if their property is taken and tell them where they can retrieve it.

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