Judge rules partially against Fort Wayne over destruction of homeless’ property

"Courtroom Gavel" by Joe Gratz, public domain

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): A federal judge has ruled that the city of Fort Wayne needs to give more of a heads-up before destroying property seized from homeless people.

Judge Susan Collins has ruled that the city can’t destroy property seized in raids on homeless camps without giving at least 72 hours’ notice, according to the Journal Gazette. That’s in addition to an order to give another 72-hour notice prior to performing camp cleanups in the first place.

The ruling comes as part of a lawsuit filed by Keith See, who says the city’s raids are unconstitutional and have led to the destruction of personal property. The city denies the claims, saying they only destroy property deemed a risk to public health, although they did concede they only give people 24 hours to reclaim any property seized.

Collins ruled that the city does have the right to keep public areas clean, but still ruled partially in See’s favor, saying the city’s current 24-hour practice is against the law.


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