Homeless group sues city over unfair ticketing

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SAN DIEGO -- A group of homeless took a legal step against the city of San Diego Thursday by filing a federal class action lawsuit over the city's over-sized vehicle ordinance.

The group says they’re fed up with what they believe is constant police harassment, the citations they can't afford to pay and the impounding of their vehicles.

Under the city's oversized vehicle ordinance, recreation vehicles can’t be parked on city streets between 2 a.m. - 6 a.m. unless the owner has a permit. Also, RVs can’t be parked within 50 feet of an intersection. The order was designed to protect San Diego homeowners against RVs becoming potential eyesores in their neighborhoods.

Benjamin Hernandez has been homeless for a year and living out of his recreation vehicle.

“I got harassed. Ticketed. Time and time again until my RV was taken from me,” said Hernandez. “We’re just normal human beings like everyone else and some of us are disabled but we’re not criminals. We’re just trying to find a place to rest our heads and get our things back in order."

“This is a human rights disaster. This is a morale disaster. Legally, this is morally wrong. This is a fight for the ending the criminalization of homelessness and for affordable housing for everybody,” said attorney Anne Menasche with Disability Rights CA.

San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliot told FOX 5 she hasn't seen the group's complaint.

“We have not been served and have not seen the complaint.  We will review the complaint and advise our client accordingly.  We look forward to continuing to assist the city in tackling issues related to persons experiencing homelessness.”

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