State ACLU Sues to Overturn County-Wide Homeless Camp Ban

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CINCINNATI (AP) – A civil rights organization is asking an appeals court to overturn a ruling that bans homeless camps in a southwestern Ohio county.

The ACLU of Ohio has sued on behalf of a church that wants to house homeless people on its private property.

An August ruling by Judge Robert Ruehlman banned encampments from downtown Cincinnati at the Hamilton County prosecutor’s request. The Common Pleas Court judge twice extended the ban when homeless camps relocated just outside restricted areas.

Homeless people then moved onto private property and were again ordered to leave.

An American Civil Liberties Union attorney says Ruehlman lacked authority to enact the ban. It prohibits encampments on sidewalks and public grounds but doesn’t specifically exempt private property.

Ruehlman did not return a message seeking comment.