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Homeless Advocacy

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Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles has a longstanding commitment to uphold the civil rights of homeless individuals, from providing direct legal services at a weekly legal clinic in Skid Row to filing groundbreaking lawsuits that challenge the city’s unlawful practices.

Here are a few of our ongoing cases:

Mitchell v. City of Los Angeles, March 2016: Filed to stop the illegal seizure and destruction of homeless people’s property, a violation of their Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. In April 2016, a federal judge granted a preliminary injunction ordering the city to stop destroying homeless people’s belongings and to provide fundamental due process protections. Read the press release for the filing. The City reached a settlement in March 2019.

This case was covered by numerous media outlets, including NBC4’s “News Conference” once the City reached a settlement, and previously by the Los Angeles Times, KPCC and ABC 7.

The preliminary injunction was covered in the Los Angeles Times, LAist and by City News Service.

Watch Shayla Myers, LAFLA attorney, and Pete White, executive director of the Los Angeles Community Action Network, on Fox News 11’s Midday Sunday, discuss the injunction and how it relates to the City’s plans to address homelessness.


Valentine v. City of Los Angeles, December 2015: Filed to stop the Los Angeles Police Department from enforcing an illegal closure of Los Angeles beaches, which was used to target homeless people in Venice. Read the press release for the filing.

This case was covered in the Los Angeles Times.


Los Angeles Catholic Worker v. Los Angeles Downtown Industrial District Business Improvement District, September 2014: One of the first lawsuits of its kind in the country, plaintiffs sued a business improvement district in Skid Row as well as the City of Los Angeles for violating homeless people’s constitutional rights by using BID security guards to harass homeless residents of Skid Row and take their belongings. Read the press release for the filing.