GLORIA JOHNSON, ET AL V. CITY OF GRANTS PASS, No. 20-35752 (9th Cir. 2022)Annotate this Case
This case involves challenges to five provisions of the Grants Pass Municipal Code (“GPMC”). The provisions can be described as an “anti-sleeping” ordinance, two “anticamping” ordinances, a “park exclusion” ordinance, and a “park exclusion appeals” ordinance.
The Ninth Circuit affirmed in part and vacated in part the district court’s summary judgment and its permanent injunction in favor of Plaintiffs; affirmed certification pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(2), of a class of “involuntary homeless” persons; and remanded in an action challenging municipal ordinances which, among other things, preclude homeless persons from using a blanket, a pillow, or cardboard box for protection from the elements while sleeping within the City’s limits.
The panel stated that this court’s decision in Martin v. City of Boise, 902 F.3d 1031 (9th Cir. 2018), which held that “the Eighth Amendment prohibits the imposition of criminal penalties for sitting, sleeping, or lying outside on public property for homeless individuals who cannot obtain shelter” served as the backdrop for this entire litigation. The panel held that there was abundant evidence in the record establishing that homeless persons were injured by the City’s enforcement actions in the past and it was undisputed that enforcements have continued. The panel further held that the relief sought by plaintiffs, enjoining enforcement of a few municipal ordinances aimed at involuntary homeless persons, was redressable within the limits of Article III. The panel held that based on the record in this case, the district court did not err by finding plaintiffs satisfied the requirements of Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a) such that a class could be certified under Rule 23(b)(2).