The ACLU of Alaska filed thirteen appeals in Alaska Superior Court on behalf of people experiencing homelessness in Anchorage who were unconstitutionally abated from Davis Park in the Mountain View neighborhood. Additionally, the ACLU of Alaska filed a motion to stay to halt abatement notices that were issued in Davis Park.

“When the Municipality closed the only low barrier shelter and offered no alternatives, people in our community were pushed into living in public spaces. Now, they are repeatedly being told to clear out and move,” said ACLU of Alaska Legal Director Ruth Botstein. “This is a clear violation of the ban on cruel and unusual punishment in the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The civil rights of our unhoused neighbors must be restored as the starting point for their transition to permanent housing.

This filing is the latest legal action taken by the ACLU of Alaska to defend the freedoms of Alaskans experiencing poverty and houselessness. Earlier this month, we filed three appeals on behalf of individuals who had been unconstitutionally abated from Cuddy Park earlier this month.

Federal courts have held that the cruel and unusual punishment clause prohibits cities from punishing unhoused individuals for existing, sleeping, or camping in public spaces when there are not sufficient indoor shelter options available.

Despite this, the Municipality has continued to clear campsites across the city. Cuddy Park abatement notices were first posted on May 24 and cleared in June. Since then, abatement notices were posted at Davis Park, directing people camped there to remove their belongings and relocate by July 5th. The Municipality has posted signs across the Chester Creek greenbelt closing public lands to the public.

“Rather than implementing comprehensive, humane, and housing-focused solutions, the Municipality is forcing people to relocate to unknown and unidentified places around our city. Our government officials cannot continue to ignore the constitution and punish people for existing in public spaces when they have nowhere else to go,” said ACLU of Alaska Executive Director Mara Kimmel, “Forcing people to move doesn’t address the underlying factors behind houselessness and doesn’t protect public safety.”


Ruth Botstein, Eric Glatt, Melody Vidmar


United State District Court - District of Alaska


Yvonne Lamoureux



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