In a 27-page Order, Maricopa County Superior Judge Scott Blaney gave Phoenix until November 4 to clear out the homeless "Zone" in central Phoenix, granting local businesses the permanent injunction they sought to deal with the public nuisance.
Blaney had issued a temporary injunction iu March, and noted that the city has had "nearly two years" since the plaintiffs had first sought help from the City Council. The tents and makeshift structures must be gone and the city is to keep the public property free of "biohazardous materials including human feces and urine, drug paraphernalia and other trash".
Blaney notes that the City has begun moving forward on a "structured campground" separate from the Zone.
Beyond the public policy embodied in the statutes above, the public interest counsels that the City take immediate action to protect the homeless individuals residing in squalor in the Zone from the many risks and dangers identified throughout this Ruling. “Immediate action” means abating the public nuisance in which they reside and developing temporary shelter space for those that truly need it. It does not mean leaving the public nuisance in place and allowing it to fester while the City pursues development of long-term plans of permanent supportive housing.
The Court will conduct a follow-up hearing on November 30, but plans to award attorneys' fees and issue a judgment in October.
Phoenix's homeless Zone received local attention, and national attention from media such as the New York Times.
This article was reported by AZ Law founder Paul Weich.
"AZ Law" includes articles, commentaries and updates about opinions from the Arizona Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court, as well as trial and appellate courts, etc. AZ Law is founded by Phoenix attorney Paul Weich, and joins Arizona's Politics on the internet.