ACLU sues city over Kakaako homeless enforcement

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit against the city over its recent homeless enforcement in Kakaako.

The suit alleges the city violated the constitution when it destroyed personal property belonging to the homeless instead of storing it and giving owners the chance to reclaim the items.

The lawsuit also alleges that no notice, receipt or information was given on how the property might be recovered.

“What they cannot do, what the constitution prohibits is immediately seizing property from very, very poor people and hoping they’ll somehow disappear,” said ACLU Hawaii legal director Dan Gluck.

“We just lost all our holiday savings and whatnot,” said plaintiff Tabatha Martin. “We actually had enough to get a good dinner and this was because, it’s just hard. Straight up, it’s just hard. We’re people too.”

The lawsuit seeks to stop the city from doing this again and to require the city to pay damages and attorneys’ fees.

The city is set to do a second enforcement Thursday in Kakaako and says it will continue to enforce the stored property and sidewalk nuisance laws.

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