From the Eureka City Attorney’s Office:
The People of the State of California v. Dane M. Carr Appellate Opinion: On April 3, 2015, the Honorable Christopher G. Wilson, Dale A. Reinholtsen and Joyce D. Hinrichs of the Appellate Division of the Humboldt County Superior Court, issued their opinion upholding the 9 guilty verdicts against Dane Malcome Carr for violation of Eureka Municipal Code Section 93.02 – camping in public.
Carr was prosecuted by the City for violation of 93.02 in December of 2013 after he continued to camp in public despite the availability of beds at the Eureka Rescue Mission (and no requirement that he participate in faith-based proceedings at the Mission); despite efforts by the City to provide him with information regarding available services; and, despite repeated warnings that his behavior was a violation of the law.
The jury, who found Mr. Carr guilty, heard testimony from all of the officers who cited the defendant on the 9 different dates that he was informed that camping on public property not designated for camping was a violation of the Eureka Municipal Code. Carr appealed all 9 guilty verdicts.
The Appellate Division of the Superior Court affirmed all 9 guilty verdicts holding that Section 93.02 was not unconstitutional under any of the legal challenges argued by Carr. City Attorney, Cyndy Day-Wilson, said that she was pleased with the court’s decision. “This has been a long legal battle that started in early 2012 and I am pleased that the City’s ordinance has continued to withstand every legal challenge so that the behavior which continues to affect our community can be addressed.”
Chief of Police Andy Mills echoed Day-Wilson’s statements. “This behavior has had a greater impact on the community than just the 9 counts that were prosecuted. For a period of 18 months, EPD responded to over 80 calls for service regarding Mr. Carr. The calls range from sleeping in doorways; disturbing the peace; and calls from employees at businesses who noticed the defendant loitering around their building.” Chief Mills indicated that such behavior comes at a cost to the community. “It’s not the money that was spent prosecuting Mr. Carr but, the loss of business to our retailers, the fear of residents created by the behavior and the resources that the City depletes every day to address public safety and health concerns which are created by this behavior.”
City Manager Greg Sparks stated: “The City of Eureka is committed to enforcing our ordinances to improve the quality of life of our residents and visitors. Illegal camping on public and private property is not acceptable.”