What’s at Stake
Hundreds if not thousands of Salt Lake City, Utah, residents have nowhere safe to stay and must live and sleep in public. This case—brought by a small group of residents and businesses—involves the question of whether this citywide homelessness crisis qualifies as interfering with their rights under Utah state law. It also presents the question of whether Salt Lake City can be ordered to clear encampments, forcibly relocate people who are unhoused, and enforce vague and overbroad laws punishing people for experiencing homelessness. We cannot arrest our way out of homelessness. Costly fines, fees, and arrests likely violate unhoused people’s state and federal constitutional rights. The ACLU’s State Supreme Court Initiative and Trone Center for Justice and Equality, along with the ACLU of Utah and the Salt Lake Legal Defenders Association, filed an amicus brief defending the civil rights and liberties of people experiencing homelessness.