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Monitoring Property and the Built Environment

Willis et al. v. City of Seattle, et al.


Willis et al. v. City of Seattle, et al.  (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Nov. 29, 2019): The Ninth Circuit affirmed a district court’s order denying class certification for individuals seeking to challenge the City of Seattle’s and Washington State’s written policies for removing unauthorized encampments. Individuals (appellants) sought class certification alleging the policies violated the unreasonable search and seizure and due process clauses of the federal and state constitutions. The Ninth Circuit held the district court did not err in concluding that appellants failed to show there were questions of law or fact common to the class, as required for class certification. Although appellants provided evidence of the “sweeps,” they did not demonstrate that the proposed class members suffered the same injury and had claims that depended on a common contention capable of class-wide resolution. Appellants also failed to raise a facial challenge in the district court that would have satisfied the commonality requirement. There was a partial dissent. Read the decision here.

View all cases in the Judicial Trends in Public Health – January 15, 2020.

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