VANCOUVER, Wash. — Clark County has agreed to settle a case for $250,000 after a federal judge found earlier this month that the county was liable for seizing homeless people’s belongings.
The Columbian reports (http://bit.ly/2dhexo3 ) that the council on Wednesday voted to approve a settlement agreement which includes $165,000 for attorneys’ fees and $85,000 for the six plaintiffs in the suit, all of whom accused the county of throwing out their belongings during cleanups from 2012 to 2014.
Some campers had left to eat meals at a local shelter, then returned to find the work crews seizing their property and refusing to give it back. Earlier this month a judge ruled this violated the plaintiff’s constitutional rights.
Plaintiffs’ attorney Peter Fels says the $85,000 will be divided among the six plaintiffs.
Fels said authorities have promised to recommend a policy that will set stricter limits for when work crews can remove homeless people’s belongings.
“One of the main things all of them wanted to have the policy changed, and that was negotiated and agreed to by the county,” Fels said. “The settlement amount does compensate the individual clients, but . there are lots of people who were affected by the old policy and are not compensated.”
Information from: The Columbian, http://www.columbian.com