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Constitutional-loving Judge: Anchorage raids of homeless camps unconstitutional

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Anchorage's policy for raiding homeless camps is unconstitutional, an Alaska judge has ruled.

Superior Court Judge Mark Rindner issued his ruling late Tuesday in a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska.

The ACLU argued homeless people have the same rights as everyone else and the raids violated their property rights.

The city passed an amended ordinance last June giving the homeless five days' notice to leave the camps. After that, property in the camps was to be seized and destroyed, the ACLU said.

Rindner found that giving the homeless five days' notice was not sufficient, especially if their belongings were being destroyed. The judge pointed out that the city will hold an abandoned vehicle for at least 20 days, and if no one comes forward it is held an additional 10 days before being auctioned.

A longer notice would provide the homeless, including those who are chronic inebriates and mentally ill, time to "gather their belongings and find another place to live, either through the help of social service agencies or independently," Rindner said.

More than 20 people have been found dead outside in Anchorage in the past couple of years. Most were homeless or without a permanent place to live. The deaths prompted the mayor to form a team to work on the problem.

A call to Mayor Dan Sullivan's spokeswoman Wednesday was not immediately returned.

The ordinance was passed in 2009 and was revised, extending the notice from 12 hours to five days and making other changes, but the raids were stopped by court order in summer 2010.

The ACLU maintains 15 days' notice would be better. If the period is shorter, then the ordinance must provide for storage of personal belongings, said Jeffrey Mittman, executive director of the ACLU of Alaska.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Dale Engle, a disabled Vietnam War veteran who has been homeless for decades, and other homeless people in Anchorage.

Engle, 53, said he has had his tent and sleeping bag confiscated in raids, as well as a dozen Army medals and ribbons that he kept in a suitcase. He got back six medals, but a purple heart and two silver clusters were incinerated, he said.

"I worked hard for those ribbons, blood, sweat and guts," said Engle, who lived in a tent just outside the city for a year and a half before recently moving indoors with roommates. "They were given to me very honorably."

http://news.yahoo.co..._homeless_camps

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If you're going to be homeless anyway, you may as well move some place warm. San Diego is a nice place to be homeless. Austin has some homey underpasses but there is no ocean view.

I hear Alaska pays residents every year just for living there but it's not worth freezing your balls off.

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If you're going to be homeless anyway, you may as well move some place warm. San Diego is a nice place to be homeless. Austin has some homey underpasses but there is no ocean view.

I hear Alaska pays residents every year just for living there but it's not worth freezing your balls off.

Alaska has some awesome sights that homeless may want to view and I don't think it should be a crime to be homeless. To seize personal belongings and destroying them is beyond wrong.

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If you're going to be homeless anyway, you may as well move some place warm. San Diego is a nice place to be homeless. Austin has some homey underpasses but there is no ocean view.

I hear Alaska pays residents every year just for living there but it's not worth freezing your balls off.

or being eaten by a grizzly while getting some z's


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Is it ever a crime to be homeless? If so, that's like the government imposing a housing mandate on people :rofl:

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/vagrancy

vagrancy

The condition of an individual who is idle, has no visible means of support, and travels from place to place without working.

At Common Law the term vagrant referred to a person who was idle, refused to work although capable of doing so, and lived on the charity of others. Until the 1970s state vagrancy statutes were used by police to charge persons who were suspected of criminal activity, but whose actions had not gone far enough to constitute a criminal attempt. Court decisions, however, have struck down vagrancy laws as unconstitutionally vague. In addition, the term vagrant has been replaced by Homeless Person as a way of describing a person who is without means or a permanent home.

Traditionally, communities tended to regard vagrants with suspicion and view them either as beggars or as persons likely to commit crimes. In England vagrants were whipped, branded, conscripted into military service, or exiled to penal colonies. In colonial America vagrancy statutes were common. A person who wandered into a town and did not find work was told to leave the community or face criminal prosecution.

After the U.S. Civil War, the defeated Southern states enacted Black Codes, sets of laws that sought to maintain white control over the newly freed African American slaves. The concern that African Americans would leave their communities and deplete the labor supply led to the inclusion

of vagrancy laws in these codes. Unemployed African Americans who had no permanent residence could be arrested and fined. Typically, the person could not pay the fine and was therefore either sent for a term of labor with the county or hired out to a private employer.

The abuse of vagrancy laws by the police throughout the United States was common. Such laws were vague and undefined, allowing police to arrest persons merely on the suspicion they were about to do something illegal. In 1972 the U.S. Supreme Court addressed this problem in Papachristou v. Jacksonville, 405 U.S. 156, 92 S. Ct. 839, 31 L. Ed. 2d 110. The Court ruled that a Florida vagrancy statute was unconstitutional because it was too vague to be understood. The Court emphasized that members of the public cannot avoid engaging in criminal conduct, if prior to engaging in it, they cannot determine that the conduct is forbidden by law. The Court also concluded that the vagrancy law's vagueness lent itself to Arbitrary enforcement: police, prosecutors, and juries could enforce the law more stringently against one person than against another, even though the two individuals' conduct was similar.

After Papachristou the validity of vagrancy statutes was put in doubt. Prosecutions for vagrancy must now be tied to observable acts, such as public begging. Prosecutions are rare, however, because local governments do not want to spend their financial resources incarcerating persons for such offenses.

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After Papachristou the validity of vagrancy statutes was put in doubt. Prosecutions for vagrancy must now be tied to observable acts, such as public begging. Prosecutions are rare, however, because local governments do not want to spend their financial resources incarcerating persons for such offenses.

If you incarcerate someone for being homeless, aren't you in effect giving them a home? :whistle:


biden_pinhead.jpgspace.gifrolling-stones-american-flag-tongue.jpgspace.gifinside-geico.jpg

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or being eaten by a grizzly while getting some z's
Sounds unbearably grisly, zzz man.

06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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