An attorney for Los Angeles County told U.S. District Judge David O. Carter Monday that the court can’t take over the duties of local government when it comes to dealing with the local homelessness crisis simply because taxpayers don’t agree with elected officials’ policy decisions after Carter ordered city and county officials last month to house unaccompanied women and children living in the Skid Row community within 90 days and families within 120 days, reports the Courthouse News Service. Carter also ordered county officials to audit funds allocated for fighting homelessness and undertake sweeping actions to house all homeless people living in the 50-square block, open-air encampment by October. Skip Miller, the county’s outside counsel from the firm Miller Barondess, said in a virtual court hearing that federal courts can’t dictate the county’s spending decisions.
Miller told Carter the lawsuit by LA Alliance for Human Rights is “legally defective” because it doesn’t establish controversy under the U.S. Constitution nor does it establish plaintiffs’ standing to bring the complaint. LA Alliance, which sued Los Angeles city and county in March 2020, seeks local government-provided care for homeless people and swift construction of shelter and housing options for the unhoused.