More on Jimmy, the City, and Jones vs. the City of Los Angeles

A lot has been happening on the "Jimmy" case. Jimmy lives behind Bed, Bath and Beyond in Northridge.

I contacted Greig Smith, Councilmember in that area, and was responded to by his West Valley staff Head, Jim Dellinger who has emailed the City Attorney for a sit down. They realize he is not on private or City property.

In order to get Jimmy out, somebody is going to have to get the County involved. But now Jimmy is on the radar so is in more danger. However, he wanted me to make his plight public because he was on the verge of the courts throwing him out anyhow.

In the meantime, I did a little more research and in 2006 there was a court case the City lost called Jones vs. the City of Los Angeles, which severely restricted what LA could do in terms of evicting a homeless person from City property. I have contacted the ACLU who sued the City for Jones to see if they want to move this to the County area as has been happening to other counties in California.

ACLU of Southern California Wins Historic Victory in Homeless Rights Case (4/14/2006)


Appeals Court Ruling Ends the Criminalization of Homelessness

LOS ANGELES -- The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a historic decision today in a case filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California and the National Lawyers Guild seeking an end to the criminalization of people who sleep on the streets when no shelter is available.

The decision in the case,
Jones v. City of Los Angeles, marks the first time in a decade that a court has struck down an ordinance that criminalizes the lack of shelter.

"Anyone who cares about homelessness and finding positive solutions to this serious issue in our community will be delighted and encouraged by this decision," said Ramona Ripston, Executive Director of the ACLU of Southern California. "The ACLU has always maintained that police should target serious crime like rape and drug trafficking and not criminalize people for sleeping on the street when there is nowhere else to go."

Writing for the majority, Judge Kim M. Wardlaw ordered the District Court to stop enforcement of a Los Angeles city code that allows police to arrest people for sleeping on the street when there are no available shelter beds. Judge Wardlaw’s opinion cited news articles about the issue from
The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, including a recent front-page series on homelessness on Skid Row by columnist Steve Lopez.

"The Eighth Amendment prohibits the City from punishing involuntary sitting, lying, or sleeping on public sidewalks that is an unavoidable consequence of being human and homeless without shelter in the City of Los Angeles," Judge Wardlaw wrote.

ACLU of Southern California Legal Director Mark Rosenbaum, who argued the case in December, called the decision "brave."

"This decision is the most significant judicial opinion involving homelessness in the history of the nation," Rosenbaum said. "The decision means in Los Angeles it is no longer a crime to be homeless. The homeless in our community, twenty percent of whom are veterans and nearly a quarter of whom are children, can no longer be treated as criminals because of involuntary acts like sleeping and sitting where there are not available shelter beds to take them off the mean streets of the city. My hope is that the city will now treat homelessness as a social problem affecting all of us, not as a crime."

The case, originally filed in February 2003 by the ACLU of Southern California and Carol Sobel for the National Lawyers Guild, sought to end the enforcement of Section 41.18 (d) of Los Angeles city code.

In Los Angeles County at least 88,000 men, women and children -- 8,000 to 10,000 in Downtown Los Angeles alone -- are without homes. There are beds for less than half of the homeless in Los Angeles county, comprehensive services are available to far fewer than half, and the county jails are routinely used as a substitution for mental health facilities.


Anonymous said...

Now that Boks resigned, your big issue is... a homeless guy with four cats?

Is that it?
You have nothing else?
At the end of your journey, you are nowhere.

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats' feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom
Remember us -- if at all -- not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.


Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death's dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind's singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.

Let me be no nearer
In death's dream kingdom
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer --

Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom


This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man's hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Is it like this
In death's other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.


The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river

Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death's twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.


Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o'clock in the morning.

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow

For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow

Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow

For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

-- T.S. Eliot

Ed Muzika said...

Maybe you consider the life of one homeless man and 4 cats unimportant, I don't.

There is also the larger issue of homelessness, Jones vs. LA, homeless and feral cats and human caring. If anything, these are larger issues than who is the current head of Animal Services.

Anonymous said...

This is my most favorite post! Wonderful work!!!!!!!!

Thank You for providing this information and for fighting for that homeless man and his cats!

Aunt Martha said...

Anonymous #1:

You misuse and misunderstand Elliot's Wasteland.

As Mr. Muzika states in a few words, we create a universe of meaninglessness when we can easily turn the other cheek and watch people and animals suffer while doing nothing to help them obtain their basic needs.

Elliot is talking about the living hell that we carry in our soul when we turn our backs on the kind of human and animal suffering we see on the streets every day of our lives and do nothing about it.

Muzika can't help the homeless 88,000 people, their children and their pets, but he is helping one man and his four rescues. That is more than kindness. It's called basic human compassion, and integrity. There is where the Kingdom of God resides, not where you or I do nothing for this man or people like him.

When Elliot wrote the Wasteland he was not a Christian yet, however, he had to go into the depths of hell before he found heaven. I think Elliot would agree with Mr. Muzika's action.

You on the otherhand, can go ahead with your life and keep turning your back on suffering, feeling content living in your own Wasteland.

Anonymous said...

Jim Dellinger is the kind of asshole you want going after people you don't want hanging on your back. A "sit down" is exactly his cup of tea.

Dellinger sticks up for idiots who pose as Animal Control officers, but you can be sure he will go after people who don't like cats hanging around their properties.

That "sit down" between Dellinger and the city attorney you are talking about should go well if Dellinger sticks to his "guns," and you can be sure he will.

Anonymous said...

Remember a lady who was living in her car and had about 100 dogs on the empty lot where she was living? She was on the news about a year ago.

The media exposed her living conditions and the fact that she was caring for 100 dogs on the empty lot. Rescuers went out to s/n the dogs and the public gave her donations. The woman got something like $30,000 or a $30,000 trailer from the media exposure. I can't remember which was which, but she ended up w/ a trailer she could live in.

Maybe the same media people can help Jimmy.

On the otherhand, there was a homeless man living on the corner of Melrose and Heliotrope (close to Los Angeles City College).

There were a lot of people who loved that man and used to help him out, and then one day, a couple of thugs stopped on Melrose, got out of the car, and doused the poor defenseless man with gasoline and set him on fire. I think the homeless man's name was Steve, but I don't remember. That poor man died a horrific death.

Maybe too much public exposure about Jimmy's cats and his living situation isn't such a good idea. There are a lot of conservatives out there who already despise and blame low-income and homeless people for the way they live, and a lot more who would love to make trouble for the defenseless.