Yesterday, I ate lunch at a restaurant in Capitol Hill. I brought this week’s Westword with me for reading material. When I settled in, I opened the magazine, and there was a flyer that really caught my eye.
It was headed: ”Important notice to all persons who may be affected by the potential settlement of the above lawsuit, AKA – the Denver Homeless Class Action – regarding the protection of homeless person’s 4thamendment rights & property (see section called “proposed class action settlement agreement” for an explanation of how this settlement safeguards your rights). The suit was filed in August 2016.
I was expecting the usual flyer for a dispensary, but my lunchtime reading was totally different.
I am not an attorney, but this flyer is about the class-action suit that involved Denver’s homeless sweeps over the past few years. The suit is called Lyall v. City of Denver, using the name of one of the plaintiffs; Raymond Lyall is one of six homeless people represented in the suit. I also had sort of forgotten this lawsuit, since the proposed Initiative 300 was so prominent in the news, but was defeated in the May 7 municipal election.
In February, the parties involved – the plaintiffs and the city – negotiated a proposed settlement that involves a lengthy list of actions the city would need to begin to take. These range from a 48-hour written notice before removing personal property that is not a health hazard; to being more diligent in providing lockers for the homeless, especially for medicines, papers and such; to installing portable restrooms in Sonny Lawson Park and a in place in River North, and trash cans, and a lot of information. It’s quite a list.
For more information for anyone curious about the lawsuit, the settlement, or the agreement, there are two public meetings: 3-5 p.m. Wednesday, July 10, or 4-6 p.m. Monday, August 5 – both at the Downtown Denver Library at 10 West 14thAvenue Parkway. Contact Denver Homeless Out Loud at 720.940.5291. A Fairness Meeting is set for 10 a.m. on Friday, September 20 in the Alfred A. Arraj U.S. Courthouse in Denver.
Below are links to the notice I found in my copy of Westword, to the background on the suit, and stories in The Denver Post and Westword when the proposed settlement was announced earlier this year.