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Southern Legal Counsel, ACLU files suit against City of Ocala

Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 11:19 PM EDT
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - Having won one lawsuit against the City of Ocala’s policing of homeless people the Southern Legal Counsel out of Gainesville, with help from the ACLU, is suing the city over its panhandling ordinance.

The SLC filed suit in federal court on behalf of six people who are homeless, saying Ocala’s rules are vague and violate first amendment rights. The city council approved the current ordinance in 2018.

In February, a judge ruled police can’t enforce Ocala’s “open lodging” ordinance without first investigating whether emergency shelter beds are available.

RELATED STORY: Judge strikes down City of Ocala’s open lodging ordinance

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