The ACLU of Colorado and other plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the City of Boulder over its camping ban have asked a Boulder County District Court judge to issue a partial judgment, which could result in an order barring the city from enforcing the controversial law.

In an April 21 motion, the plaintiffs said the city has admitted to enough “key factual allegations” to support their claim that Boulder’s camping ban — which allows the city to ticket homeless people for sleeping in public spaces — violates a prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment in the Colorado Constitution.

In a March 23 answer to the ACLU’s lawsuit, attorneys for the city said Boulder does not always have enough shelter beds for all of its homeless residents, and that it enforces its camping ban without always checking whether the person is eligible to stay at one of the city’s shelters. Courts have ruled that punishing someone for sleeping in a public space when they have nowhere else to go violates their civil rights.

The plaintiffs asked the judge to declare the city’s camping ban as a violation of the state constitution and to halt its enforcement “when unhoused individuals cannot access indoor shelter.” The city will have a chance to respond to the motion before the judge issues a ruling. If the motion is denied, the case could still go to trial.

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  1. What about the needs and rights of Boulder residents, including kids and elders, for a safe community? Walking paths, parks, libraries should be available to all who respect our common space. If people choose to take meth and other substances rather than utilize shelters that is not a choice I want to subsidize.

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