COURT WATCH: Man Complains about Homelessness When Prosecution Pushes for Stay Away Order  

San Francisco Hall of Justice – Photo by David M. Greenwald

By Seleste Richardson

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – A man and his attorney fought for the accused’s right to remain housed during a hearing here last week at San Francisco’s Hall of Justice Superior Court.

The judge agreed to send the man back to jail.

The accused was charged with squatting and vandalism greater than $400 after he allegedly stayed in his residence after being evicted by the landlord.

During the arraignment, Deputy District Attorney Asit Panwala asked Judge Victor Hwang to accept the prosecution’s recommendation of a stay away order from the address where the accused had been previously living.

Once DDA Panwala noted the address of the stay away order, the accused shouted, “That’s my home. I live there. You can’t do that.”

The accused’s attorney was able to calm him down and reach an agreement with the court for the accused to stay in jail so housing could possibly be found through San Francisco’s pretrial diversion project.

Many homeless report precarious encounters and are subjected to harassment tactics used by the police, according to the study, “Compassionate Strategies of Managing Homelessness: Post-Revanchist Geographies in San Francisco.”

As the study noted, in a city where “homeless individuals are persecuted by the police force,” another San Francisco resident could be without a place to call home.

The next hearing is Nov. 2. It will be updated when the accused is able to find a new housing placement.


About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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