Judge denies ACLU motion to stop Honolulu homeless sweeps

Judge denies ACLU motion to stop Honolulu homeless sweeps

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Homeless sweeps are set to continue, at least for now. On Tuesday afternoon Judge Helen Gilmore denied the American Civil Liberty Union's motion for a temporary restraining order.

Judge Gilmore said at this point, the ACLU simply did not provide her with enough information to immediately halt the city's homeless enforcement operations.

The latest sweep happened Tuesday morning in Kakaako near Ilalo and Coral Street just before noon. The city maintains it's only discarding trash. However the ACLU disagrees.

Last Wednesday, the organization filed a class action lawsuit saying the city's policy of seizing and immediately destroying property during these sweeps violates the due process clause of the constitution.

"The issue about homeless in Kakaako is about poverty. People who are living there are in extreme poverty and they're doing everything they can there to survive on a daily basis. They are putting together meager belongings and things like tarps and wood pallets just so they have something to shelter them from the elements to shield them and shield their children," said ACLU attorney Daniel Gluck.

Honolulu Corporation Counsel Donna Leong issued the following statement today:

"We are pleased with today's decision and the Department of the Corporation Counsel will continue to defend the city. Honolulu's Stored Property and Sidewalk Nuisance ordinances have withstood challenges in federal court before and we believe they will survive the current challenge. In the meantime, the city will continue to enforce the Stored Property and Sidewalk Nuisance ordinances in accordance with their provisions. The ordinances support the safety, health, and welfare of all residents of the City and County of Honolulu."

The next hearing on this issue is set for December 14.

Copyright 2015 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.