Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Judge Moreno terminates Pottinger agreement

That's the famous agreement protecting the homeless in Miami entered over 20 years ago, named after the lead plaintiff Michael Pottinger.  Judge Moreno held an evidentiary hearing and wrote this 40-page order saying the agreement was no longer necessary.

Here is the conclusion:

Heroes for the Homeless

Although the Plaintiffs have opposed the termination of this agreement, in a very real sense, they are the victors. Their lawsuit, and the work of their excellent and capable counsel,under the guidance of the Americans Civil Liberties Union and the Florida Justice Institute,engendered a revolution in this community as to the treatment and care of persons experiencing homelessness. Twenty years ago, the undersigned could not have predicted the myriad of services made possible by the efforts of the Homeless Trust and Mr. Ronald L. Book. The Court could not have envisioned the dedication of people, like Dr. Pedro Joe Greer and Dr. Edward Suarez, who have taken medicine to the streets of Miami to help people and gain their trust to improve their care. The lifetime of work by Camillus CEO Hilda Fernandez is commendable as he has worked in a variety of roles to assist the homeless and better their lives in a truly compassionate way. The work of Constance Collins at the Lotus House has also contributed to aiding homeless women and children and helped them find solutions to homelessness. lt goes without saying that this community owes a debt of gratitude to Judge Steve Leifman, who has implemented sustainable programs to help the mentally ill, which will continue to improve their circumstances. Sim ply put, Judge Atkins would be proud of the results.

Accordingly, it is ADJUDGED that the Court terminates the Consent Decree and denies the motion to hold the City of Miami in contempt

The New Times covers it here:
One of the nation's landmark homeless-protection laws is now gone.
Since May 2018, the City of Miami has been trying to invalidate a 1998 legal decision that prevented city cops from arresting homeless people for living their lives outside. The so-called Pottinger Agreement, named for homeless Miamian Michael Pottinger, prevented police from, say, arresting homeless people for sleeping outside or placing their items on the sidewalk.
Even with those protections in place, the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida said Miami cops were blatantly harassing the homeless — including spraying them with power washers and arresting a woman who was in dire need of medical care and likely died due to the detainment. The ACLU also argued the City of Miami was trying to terminate the agreement as a way to sweep homeless residents out of the rapidly gentrifying downtown area.
But U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno today terminated the Pottinger consent decree. The ACLU had filed a competing motion to hold the city in contempt of the Pottinger Agreement, but Moreno threw it out.


Anonymous said...

All you have to do is walk from the courthouse, Miami Avenue to Flagler, to understand that there needs to be some police involvement.

The street is a health issue, stinking of urine and feces. Filled with loud music from 7-11, blasted in hopes if keeping people from loitering in front.

I should not have to walk through other people's bedrooms and toilet bowls (on a public sidewalk) to reach the courthouse.

It is a tough problem, but Miami Avenue and that overpass to the North demonstrated pretty clearly that something needed to be done.

Anonymous said...

The problem is not that you shouldn't have "to walk through other people's bedrooms and toilet bowls," (poor you!) the problem is that people shouldn't have to live on the streets, including sleeping and relieving themselves on the sidewalk.
In Florida, minimum wage is $8.46/hr, $338.40/40 hour work week, $17,596.80/year. If you are the head of a household making minimum wage in South Florida, show me where you and your family are going to live and how you are going to feed your family.
Oh, I am sorry, we were talking about you getting dirt on your Berluti's. My bad.

Anonymous said...

That order is a joke. Activist judge imposing his own beliefs on our community.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who didn't see this coming is naive. The world center will be done soon, so of course "they" were going to "do something" to protect 8:19's Berlutis.

Also, 3:25, who ever said that the minimum wage was meant to be sufficient to sustain a single-earner family? That is absurd.