The group behind a federal lawsuit claiming Santa Barbara’s RV parking ordinance violates the 1972 Americans with Disabilities Act is asking a judge to give them more time to amend their complaint.
As reported first by the News-Press, the lawsuit claims the ordinance restricting when and where motor homes can be parked harms the disabled and the impoverished living in their vehicles.
Homeless advocate Peter Marin says the ordinance “seems to violate several constitutional rights and actually intrudes on the lives of the poor, which is discriminatory.”
The complaint was filed Sept. 19, 2018, in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles by a group called Committee for Social Justice on behalf of 14 or so plaintiffs.
Russell Brown, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, says a main goal of the action is to stop the city from enforcing the ordinance, which could see the impounding of RVs used in lieu of a dwelling.
Plaintiffs also are seeking reimbursement for parking tickets, towing and the like, in addition to monetary damages for the inconvenience the ordinance has caused. Some of the plaintiffs are disabled.
“A normal disabled person, in a normal-sized car would be able to park in a blue zone, but because they’re in an RV, they can’t park in a blue zone anywhere in the city,” Mr. Brown explained at the time. The city offers waivers, but this, says Mr. Brown, essentially makes the disabled prove their disability, prove their vehicle is necessary because of the disability and prove how parking their vehicle on a city street won’t adversely affect traffic — a process that doesn’t apply to others, he says.
The original complaint alleges eight causes of actions.
In November 2018, both sides met after the city attorney’s office said it would be filing a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.
After another meeting a week later, the plaintiffs agreed to amend their complaint, and since then, Mr. Brown has done “additional factual and legal research” to address issues raised by the city.
In papers filed with Judge Manuel Real, the plaintiffs along with the city, the police department and Police Chief Lori Luhnow agreed to give Mr. Brown until Jan. 31 to file an amended complaint. The defendants than have 30 days to file a response.