SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A federal judge approved an agreement that will allow police, under certain conditions, to resume ticketing of homeless people who are illegally sleeping on downtown San Diego streets, it was announced Monday.
U.S. Federal Magistrate Judge William McCurine Jr.'s ruling amended a 2007 court order that barred the city from enforcing its illegal lodging laws, according to the City Attorney's Office.
Under the amended order issued Nov. 11, San Diego police can now issue an illegal lodging ticket to a transient sleeping on the streets between 9 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. if there is an available shelter bed and the individual refuses to take it.
"For the first time in three years, the city has some clear direction allowing us to enforce the law during the late evening and early morning hours where shelter is available," City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said. "This will not end homelessness, but it is a step in the right direction."
A lawsuit, filed in federal court in San Diego in 2004 by several attorneys on behalf of homeless people who got citations, sought an end to the issuance of illegal lodging ticketing by police.
They argued that there were not enough beds in San Diego to accommodate the homeless, and therefore they should not be issued a fine when there was no viable alternative to sleeping outside.
The city reached a settlement in 2007 and was ordered by a federal judge to stop issuing illegal lodging citations to people sleeping on city streets. Police were still permitted to issue citations for other violations, including public intoxication, vandalism or trespassing.
The announcement that the city may once again hand out illegal lodging citations comes after the City Council voted in October to begin the process of establishing a permanent homeless center in downtown.
A charity run, meals for the needy, a long-running music festival and -- shhh! -- holiday shopping were on tap for Thanksgiving Day in San Diego.
The California Highway Patrol arrested 15 in San Diego County on suspicion of drunken driving, during the first night of its annual Thanksgiving "maximum enforcement period."
The always-heated topic of whether to begin holiday shopping on Thanksgiving Day will be raised again Thursday, as many chain stores will open their doors around San Diego one day before the so-called "Black Friday."
A charity run, meals for the needy, a long-running music festival and holiday shopping are on tap for Thursday's Thanksgiving Day in San Diego.
Your living room often becomes your work space if you work from home. If you have kids, the house can be even more chaotic. Well now, more women are able to take 10-15 steps out of their home and into their "she shed."
Around 60,000 passengers are expected to pass through San Diego's Lindbergh Field daily during the upcoming holiday weekend.
Thanksgiving meals were provided to the needy around San Diego County Wednesday, one day ahead of the holiday.