July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 30

LAW REVIEW
Throughout 2020 and into 2021, federal
courts have considered a number of
challenges to public health emergency
orders, including the closure of homeless
encampments in public parks.
Park Homeless Encampment Closure
During COVID-19 Pandemic
By James C. Kozlowski, J.D., Ph.D.
he coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has exacerbated the public
health challenges associated with homeless encampments in public
parks. Throughout 2020 and continuing into 2021, federal courts
have considered a number of challenges to public health emergency
orders imposing restrictions and shutdown orders to control the pandemic,
in particular the closure of homeless encampments in public parks.
In the case of Santa Cruz Homeless
v. Bernal, 2021 U.S. Dist.
LEXIS 13839 (Dist. N.D. Calif.
1/20/2021), several organizations
and individuals experiencing homelessness
petitioned the federal district
court to enjoin the implementation
of an executive order by the
City of Santa Cruz, California, to
close homeless encampments in San
Lorenzo Park and the Benchlands
during " a time when the COVID-19
pandemic is surging and the City's
30 Parks & Recreation | JULY 2 0 2 1
| PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
homeless shelters are full. " According
to the plaintiffs, these park closures
" would leave the homeless
persons camping in those locales
more vulnerable to COVID-19 than
if they were allowed to remain in
the encampments. "
Facts of the Case
On December 3, 2020, the California
Department of Public Health
issued a Regional Stay at Home
Order, stating " all individuals livT
ing
in the Region shall stay at home
or at their place of residence " when
intensive care unit capacity falls below
15 percent. On December 16,
2020, the Health Services Agency
of the County of Santa Cruz issued
a press release stating that the regional
stay-at-home order would
commence on December 17, 2020.
Santa Cruz County had seen
" the largest number of new
COVID cases to be recorded in
Santa Cruz since the pandemic
began " and " the absolute number
of positive tests has also increased
significantly by about 25 [percent]
since before Christmas. "
The individual plaintiffs in this
lawsuit, Avalos, Hegel, Ingersoll
and Tolley, (Plantiffs) had been

July 2021 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of July 2021 - Parks & Recreation

July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 1
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 2
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 3
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 4
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 5
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 6
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 7
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July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
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