By Shawn Raymundo
A federal judge earlier this month denied the city of Santa Ana’s request for an injunction to bar the County of Orange from transporting homeless individuals to a temporary shelter at an armory in Santa Ana, according to news outlets.
Reports indicate that Judge David O. Carter blocked the injunction on Tuesday, Feb. 4, because attorneys from Sana Ana couldn’t provide any statistics about the homeless who have been staying at the Orange County Armory Emergency Shelter Program at the National Guard Armory in Santa Ana.
Carter denied the injunction without prejudice, allowing Santa Ana’s legal team to later submit numbers and other information to back up the city’s claim that it has been unfairly saddled with taking on the county’s homeless problem.
Last month, Santa Ana had sued the county, as well as the cities of Dana Point, San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano. The city accused the South County cities of transporting their homeless to Santa Ana, relying heavily on the armory to care for the indigent.
However, following a staunch rebuke from the three cities, which said they had not transported any homeless to Santa Ana—a practice commonly referred to as “dumping”—Santa Ana dropped its suit against the cities, while leaving the county as the primary defendant.
In its Jan. 13 complaint, the city of Santa Ana said the county “has established homeless services almost exclusively in Santa Ana, thereby contributing to the dense concentration of homeless individuals therein.” According to the complaint, Santa Ana is seeking monetary damages as a reimbursement for the costs associated with providing homeless-related services and resources, in addition to a prohibition of transporting homeless individuals to the armory.