Coalition on Homelessness v. City and County of San Francisco (Homeless Rights)

Status: ACTIVE


On September 27, 2022, the Coalition on Homelessness and seven individual plaintiffs filed suit against the City and County of San Francisco and Mayor London Breed for their efforts to criminalize homelessness through an array of brutal policing practices that violate the constitutional rights of unhoused San Franciscans. Plaintiffs have won a preliminary injunction to stop these practices on an emergency basis. Plaintiffs are represented by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area and the ACLU Foundation of Northern California, as well as the global law firm Latham & Watkins LLP.

For years, San Francisco has claimed that it is taking steps to address the City’s homelessness crisis. But in fact, the City is forcing unhoused people out of sight—destroying their survival belongings and citing and arresting them for sleeping in public when they have no shelter to go to. San Francisco has more laws penalizing homelessness than any other place in California, and possibly America. These regressive mass incarceration era policies only perpetuate San Francisco’s homelessness crisis and scapegoat unhoused people for the City’s egregious failure to support affordable housing for San Francisco residents.


  • 9/27/2022: Lawsuit filed
  • 12/01/2022: Plaintiffs submit their reply to the City’s opposition to the preliminary injunction motion
  • 12/23/2022: Victory! Judge grants the preliminary injunction in plaintiff’s favor, barring San Francisco from the brutal practice of criminalizing homelessness in the absence of shelter
  • 01/06/2023: Plaintiffs submit an administrative motion regarding the City’s noncompliance of the injunction order
  • 01/12/2023: Judge denies the City’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit
  • 05/25/2023: Plaintiffs file motion to enforce the preliminary injunction order
  • 09/05/2023: 9th Circuit denies the City’s motion to modify the preliminary injunction order
  • 01/11/2024: 9th Circuit affirms the District Court’s grant of a preliminary injunction in favor of Plaintiffs
  • 01/18/2024: City files a motion to stay or pause the lawsuit
  • 01/29/2024: Plaintiffs reply to the City’s motion to stay or pause the lawsuit


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