Barrani v. Salt Lake City
Hundreds if not thousands of Salt Lake City, Utah, residents have nowhere safe to stay and must live and sleep in public. This case—brought by a small group of residents and businesses—involves the question whether this citywide homelessness crisis constitutes a nuisance under Utah state law. It also presents the question whether Salt Lake City can be ordered to clear encampments, forcibly relocate people who are unhoused, and enforce vague and overbroad laws criminalizing homelessness where doing so will likely, if not certainly, violate unhoused people’s state and federal constitutional rights. The ACLU’s State Supreme Court Initiative and Trone Center for Justice and Equality, along with the ACLU of Utah and the Salt Lake Legal Defenders Association, represent amici curiae in the trial court who oppose the plaintiffs’ nuisance claims and their request for relief.