less than 1 minute read

Pottinger v. City of Miami


Pottinger v. City of Miami is a landmark class action case brought on behalf of the homeless. The case is a model of how these types of cases can be resolved.

The homeless of Miami, Florida, filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against the city of Miami in December of 1988. The homeless charged that the Miami police had a policy of harassing homeless people for sleeping, eating, and performing life sustaining activities in public places with the purpose of driving them out of the city or rendering them invisible. In addition, the class asserted that the city routinely seized and destroyed its members' property and failed to follow its inventory procedures when confiscating personal property. The class asserted that the city's activities constituted cruel and unusual punishment, malicious abuse of process, and unlawful searches and seizures, in violation of due process, the right to privacy, and the Equal Protection Clause. The class asked for declaratory judgment, compensatory damages, and reasonable attorney's fees. Additionally, the class sought to stop the city from arresting homeless people for conducting necessary life sustaining activities and from destroying their personal property.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1995 to PresentPottinger v. City of Miami - Significance, City's Treatment Of Homeless Violated Their Constitutional Rights, Negotiations Lead To Settlement Agreement