Federal Lawsuit Filed Against San Diego Alleging Violation of Constitutional Rights

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San Diego now faces a federal lawsuit filed against them. Because of a law in San Diego, RVs are not allowed to park on the streets between 2 AM and 6 AM. One of the initial objectives of the law was to stop tourists from parking their large RVs to forgo paying for hotels. However, the law is applied to anyone in San Diego and now the city is facing a federal lawsuit from some disabled plaintiffs who live in RVs. The plaintiffs believe that the city is violating their constitutional rights.

Federal Lawsuit Alleges the Law Is Unconstitutional

In the federal lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege that the RV law, which was enacted in 2014, is unconstitutional. Plaintiffs believe that the law violates the Eighth Amendment which bans cruel and unusual punishment and the 14th Amendment which promises a right to due process. The lawsuit further alleges that the city is also in violation of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The lawsuit states “Their [RVs] are their only reliable, safe shelter from the elements and only place to store their belongings…even though there are no adequate alternatives, the city has repeatedly ticketed and harassed these individuals for seeking shelter in their [RVs] or simply owning [them] and having nowhere else to park.”

The plaintiffs range in age from 54 to 70 years old and allege that they cannot afford to pay the steep rents in the area. Many make only $900 a month on disability and the average price of a one-bedroom apartment is more than $1,000. Parking in an RV park is often out of reach as well because of the steep monthly rates. The plaintiffs allege they have no other option than to live in their RVs because shelters cannot accommodate their various physical or mental disabilities.

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