It’s now legal to sleep in your car in L.A.


By James Poulos |

In a decision hailed as a human rights victory by homeless-rights activists, a federal court struck down a decades-old Los Angeles law prohibiting the use of vehicles as residences.

The ordinance, Section 85.02 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code, declared, “No person shall use a vehicle parked on or standing upon any City street or upon any parking lot owned by the City of Los Angeles or under control of the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors as living quarters either overnight, day-by-day, or otherwise.”

In the case, Desertrain vs. City of Los Angeles, three judges on the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously overturned a lower court ruling that upheld the ban. Dating back to 1983, the ban wasn’t enforced until 2010, when an LAPD task force was created in response to complaints centered in Venice neighborhoods. According to the city, Section 85.02 was employed in response to “the illegal dumping of trash and human waste on city streets that was endangering public health” in the area.

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