United States District Court, D. Oregon, Medford Division
DEBRA BLAKE, GLORIA JOHNSON, JOHN LOGAN, individuals, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
CITY OF GRANTS PASS, Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
D. CLARKE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
case comes before the Court on Plaintiffs' Motion for
Class Certification (#25) pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 23. For
the reasons below, Plaintiffs' motion is
are three allegedly homeless individuals in the City of
Grants Pass. As alleged, plaintiff Debra Blake has been
homeless in Grants Pass for about eight to ten years. Blake
Supp. Decl. ¶ 3 (#26). Although she currently lives in
temporary transitional housing, she is beyond her ninety-day
stay and faces the imminent possibility of returning to the
streets. Blake Supp. Decl. ¶¶ 2-3 (#43). Plaintiff
John Logan alleges he has been intermittently homeless for
the past ten years. Logan Supp. Decl. ¶¶ 4-6 (#28).
Currently, he works as an in-home care provider, and his
clients let him sleep on a mattress in their storage room
approximately four or five nights a week. Logan Supp. Decl.
¶¶ 3-6 (#44). He has no legal right to stay at his
clients' homes, and he spends the remaining nights
sleeping in his car at a rest stop north of town.
Id. Plaintiff Gloria Johnson allegedly lives
full-time in her van. Johnson Supp. Decl. ¶ 5 (#27).
allege that each of their situations fall under the
definition of homelessness adopted by the United States
Department of Housing and Urban Development
("HUD"). 24 C.F.R § 582.5 (2012). HUD's
definition encompasses a variety of living situations,
including youth homelessness, id. § 582.5(3);
individuals fleeing domestic violence, id. §
582.5(4); individuals "living in a supervised publicly
or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary
living arrangements," id. § 582.5(1)(ii);
and individuals whose primary nighttime residence "is a
public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used
as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings,
including a car, park, abandoned building, bus or train
station, or camping ground, id. § 582.5(1)(i).
Plaintiffs allege that their situations are just three
representations of modern homelessness in the United States.
While their exact circumstances and stories may vary, they
all share the need to conduct the life sustaining activities
of resting, sleeping, and seeking shelter from the elements
while living in Grants Pass without a permanent home.
allege that Defendant, through a combination of ordinances,
customs, and policies, has unconstitutionally punished them
for conducting these life-sustaining activities and
criminalized their existence in Grants Pass. Plf. Mot. for
Class Cert, at 8 (#25). They seek prospective declaratory and
injunctive relief from enforcement of the following
ordinances in the City of Grants Pass Municipal Code:
A. "To Camp" means to set up or to remain in or at
B. "Campsite" means any place where bedding,
sleeping bag, or other material used for bedding purposes, or
any stove or fire is placed, established, or maintained for
the purpose of maintaining a temporary place to live, whether
or not such place incorporates the use of any tent, lean-to,
shack, or any other structure, or any vehicle or part
5.61.020 Sleeping on Sidewalks, Streets, Alleys, or
Within Doorways Prohibited
A. No person may sleep on public sidewalks, streets, or
alleyways at any time as a matter of individual and public
B. No person may sleep in any pedestrian or vehicular
entrance to public or private property abutting a public
C. In addition to any other remedy provided by law, any
person found in violation of this section may be immediately
removed from the premises.
5.61.030 Camping Prohibited
No person may occupy a campsite in or upon any sidewalk,
street, alley, lane, public right of way, park, bench, or any
other publicly-owned property or ...