Civil rights attorney calls passage of the Sit/Lie Expansion irresponsible

Civil rights attorney calls passage of the Sit/Lie Expansion irresponsible

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Despite a veto from Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell the Sit/Lie expansion bill is now in effect.

On Wednesday the Honolulu City Council overrode the mayor's decision even though the mayor's attorneys warned the law is legally flawed.

"When they pass a law like this they are basically making it illegal all over the island to utilize sidewalks and that raises serious concern," said civil rights attorney Eric Seitz.

Along the Kapalama Canal in Kalihi many of the homeless had the same reaction. "I don't have anywhere to go," said Nancy.

"It feels like the whole world is against me out here," said Stefanie Sanchez.

Seitz says city council's decision was reckless and leaves the door wide open for lawsuits.
"I think it's simply outrageous to pass what they know or should know to be a legally flawed bill.  They're risking public funds.  They are putting the county in a position where it's engaging in potentially unconstitutional behavior," said Seitz.
That's something the city has had issues with in the past.

Three years ago the police started ticketing homeless people and DeOccupy protesters on the sidewalks at Thomas Square and seized their belongings.

After a long court battle a judge ruled in April their civil rights had been violated.  The settlement was only $1,000 but with legal fees the city wound up shelling out more than $70,000.
"I understand people are complaining. But you don't deal with the problem by basically tampering with the first amendment," said Seitz.
Seitz says those lawsuits could happen right away.
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