Federal judge rules, homeless camp residents given 72 hours notice to vacate

Second round of mediation was unsuccessful

By JESSICA A YORK | Santa Cruz Sentinel – April 29, 2019

SAN JOSE — A federal court judge sent Santa Cruz city officials and litigants in a homeless civil rights lawsuit back to a second round of mediated talks Monday in the midst of witness testimony.

U.S. District Court Judge Edward Davila was, he said, determined to “finish this case today.”

As with Friday, the second round of negotiations proved unsuccessful.

Shortly after 6 p.m. Davila ruled he will dissolve the temporary restraining order due to his opinions that the main case is unlikely to succeed on its merits and that plaintiffs have not shown irreparable harm.

The City expects to post eviction notices at the homeless camp at Gateway Plaze, behind Ross Dress For Less, early Tuesday morning, meaning “move out day” would not be before 72 hours have passed, which would be Friday morning.

Attorney Anthony Prince, appearing for a group of homeless litigants representing themselves, said he is “inclined to appeal.”

As of press time Monday, Davila was hearing from the first and only witness city officials planned to call in the case. Earlier in the day, Prince called nine people to testify.

Friday, Prince criticized the city’s efforts in negotiations, telling Davila, “Frankly, we didn’t see much change at all in the position the city’s taken.” He also shared frustrations that Deputy City Attorney Reed Gallogly reportedly had disclosed details from the ostensibly private mediation in open court.

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