Homeless Lawsuit Finalized

July 25, 2008 7:04:14 PM PDT
A Fresno judge finalized the settlement of a lawsuit against the city of Fresno for how it handled the cleanup of homeless camps in the past.Federal judge Oliver Wanger finalized the deal, giving the homeless nearly one and a half million dollars. The money is designed to compensate up to 268 individuals for damages they suffered when the city bulldozed homeless settlements in 2006, seizing and destroying their property.

The judge praised private lawyers handling the case for not taking any money, when they would have been entitled up to two million in legal fees.

The judge also blasted Mayor Alan Autry for criticizing the legal process, and said it was clear the mayor had no understanding of the law.

Attorneys for the ACLU praised the settlement and said the city could have settled much earlier, but chose to fight tooth and nail, only giving in when the case was about to go to trial.

The ACLU will share 750 thousand in legal fees with the lawyer's committee for civil rights.

The attorney representing Alan Autry objected to the judge's criticism of the mayor, but Judge Wanger said the mayors own criticism of the courts and attorneys were ill informed and uncalled for.

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