One can notice serious constitutional problems with the City of Los Angeles (LA) Municipal Code. As per the Municipal Code section 85.02, it is a crime to use one’s car as living quarters during the day, at night, or otherwise. In Desertrain v. Los Angeles, the United States Court of Appeals ruled that the aforementioned section 85.02 of the Municipal Code and the clause therein are unconstitutionally vague.
Get a Free Price Quote
As the Court explained, this vagueness (expressed in “or otherwise”) makes it confusing and challenging for the citizens to understand how and why their conduct (such as sleeping in the vehicle) is prohibited. Moreover, the Court claims that Municipal Code authorizes and promotes discriminatory and arbitrary application and enforcement of the law. For instance, the Code unreasonably criminalizes harmless behaviors such as sleeping, eating, or resting inside one’s vehicle.
8 Reasons to choose us:
Don't waste time -
get the best essay in the world!
- 01. Only original papers
- 02. Any difficulty level
- 03. 300 words per page
- 04. BA, MA and PhD writers
- 05. Generous discounts
- 06. On-time delivery
- 07. Direct communication with an assigned writer
- 08. FREE plagiarism report upon request
Therefore, the fact that LA Municipal Code violates Constitution (14th Amendment) and basic citizens’ rights is a significant problem. Moreover, section 85.02 violates common sense and reason. In particular, it implies that when a homeless person sleeps outside under or near his vehicle under the rain, this person abides by the law. However, when this person seeks shelter from the rain inside his vehicle, he becomes a criminal. Therefore, one can question professionalism and competence of the city representatives creating such laws. Another problematic issue with the City Municipal Code is that it seems to promote a discriminatory treatment of the people with a low socioeconomic status when homeless individuals are treated more harshly by the law. In other words, the City Code violated 14th Amendment by depriving the City of LA residents of equal protection under the law. Specifically, this law seems to create a social environment where (a) citizenship rights of certain categories of community members are undermined, and (b) homeless individuals are further dehumanized and marginalized.