The city of Eureka has announced that evictions of the Palco Marsh homeless encampments will go forward as planned Monday, despite what appears to be a somewhat mixed ruling from a federal judge this afternoon.
Shortly after the ruling came down, the North Coast Journal reported that federal district judge Jeffrey S. White essentially ruled for the 11 plaintiffs listed in attorney Peter Martin’s lawsuit against the city. White appears to have granted their request for a temporary restraining order forbidding the city to evict homeless people from the marsh. But according to a Courthouse News Service reporter who spoke to the Journal, his order applied only to those 11 plaintiffs. The city will be free to kick everyone else out of the area — and looks like it will be able to kick out the 11, too, so long as city officials promise to find alternate lodging arrangements that are acceptable to those plantiffs:
White ordered then ordered attorneys on both sides to draft a proposed order from the court by 5 p.m. tomorrow that will either allow the plaintiffs to remain in the marsh after the evictions or provide that the city will find a different shelter option for them that is agreeable to all parties.
The press release below seems to confirm, obtusely, the NCJ’s account of the substance of White’s ruling, and seems to indicate that the city will opt for the latter case — kicking out the 11 and finding mutually agreeable shelter arrangements.
Do the city and the plaintiffs have to agree on those alternate arrangements before Monday’s big evictions? Or does the city merely have to promise, by 5 p.m. tomorrow, that it will find mutually agreeable alternatives sometime in the future? This is still unclear.
From the City of Eureka:
On March 18, 2016 the City set a date of May 2, 2016 for individuals camping in the Palco Marsh to leave the area. On Monday, April 25, 2016, a complaint in the United States District Court, Northern District of California, Oakland Division Case No. 16-cv- 02239-JSW was file on behalf of 11 individuals. Federal Judge Jeffrey S. White heard arguments today regarding the complaint and is allowing the City to move forward with the operation plan to clear the Marsh on May 2, 2016. Those illegal campers remaining will risk arrest. The City will assist the 11 plaintiffs to identify shelter and manage their property.
Beginning on May 2nd through at least May 6th 2016, the waterfront greenbelt areas between Truesdale and West Del Norte Streets west of Broadway will be completely closed to all pedestrian bicycle, or vehicle traffic. This closure is due to the planned police enforcement and property maintenance operation being conducted during that period.
Unauthorized person(s) entering this police operational area will be subject to arrest upon entry. Any illegal campers still remaining in the Palco Marsh area will be subject to arrest. All entrances to the area will be monitored and entry restricted. All remaining illegal campers in the marsh are urged to seek services or temporary housing from one of the many service options A special fair will be held at the foot of West Del Norte Street on May 2, 2016 from 8 am until 5 pm.
Camping in any City park or greenbelt is prohibited. Anyone who notices camping in a City greenbelt or park should contact the Eureka Police Department. EPD and City staff will respond to calls for camping within the City of Eureka as time allows.
- Eureka Officially Puts Marsh Residents on Notice; Camping to End May 2; Waterfront Trail Completely Closed Next Week
- Human Rights Commission Calls on County Government to Somehow Stop Palco Marsh Evictions
- On Behalf of Homeless, Eureka Attorney Peter Martin Sues City, Police Department Over Palco Marsh Eviction Plan
- 23 of Humboldt’s Homeless Families Housed Through CalWORKS Grant
- Homelessness Activist Group Formally Submits ‘Sanctuary Camp’ Plan to House People Evicted From Palco Marsh
- Tomorrow a Federal Judge Could Stop the Palco Marsh Evictions. Here are the Arguments For and Against