Hamilton County deputies clear homeless from courthouse area

DAN SEWELL Associated Press

October 18, 2013

CINCINNATI (AP) — A federal judge has rejected a request by four homeless men to block southwest Ohio sheriff’s deputies from arresting them for sleeping on courthouse steps.

Hamilton County deputies cleared out homeless people overnight. Sheriff’s spokesman Jim Knapp says there were no arrests or problems.

U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott denied a request for a temporary restraining order, saying the plaintiffs haven’t shown any injury or supported their claim that homelessness is being unconstitutionally criminalized.

A homeless advocate says the lawsuit will continue.

Sheriff Jim Neil had announced a plan weeks ago to help the homeless with their issues but to eventually end their practice of sleeping outside the courthouse. He cited a public health hazard from messes left and courthouse damage.