ACLU Statement on Court Order Protecting Burlington Homeless Camp Residents from Eviction

Plaintiffs and their property will remain undisturbed pending court hearing on Wednesday in Rutland


October 20, 2017

BURLINGTON—Federal District Court Judge Geoffrey W. Crawford has granted the residents of a Burlington homeless encampment an emergency temporary restraining order to stop the City from going forward with a planned eviction on Monday. The Court will hear oral arguments in the case on Wednesday in Rutland. 

Jay Diaz, staff attorney, ACLU of Vermont: “We are grateful that this judgement protects our clients from eviction and seizure of their personal property while the case moves forward. As the nights are growing colder and temperatures are dipping below freezing, it would be needlessly cruel to deny these individuals the shelter they have arranged for themselves when the City’s shelters are full. We will look forward to seeking permanent relief for our clients and other homeless individuals who are entitled to the same human dignity and constitutional protections as any other City residents.”

James Lyall, executive director, ACLU of Vermont: “The City’s policy of punishing homeless individuals with nowhere else to go is unconstitutional and unspeakably cruel to people already facing enormous struggle just to survive. This has to change.”

The Plaintiffs, Brian Croteau, Larry Priest, and Richard Pursell, are represented by the ACLU of Vermont and cooperating attorneys Jared Carter and Gary Sarachan.

A copy of the judge’s order is here.

A copy of the ACLU’s motion for emergency temporary restraining order is here.

A copy of the ACLU’s class action lawsuit, Croteau et al v. City of Burlington, is here.