My wife has a favorite story she tells… “Hey Debbie, there’s a homeless guy living in your car,” her friend announced while bringing in a case of beer. It was early in the day to begin drinking, but then again it was college, a time of boundless highs and no regrets. “Really?” Debbie exclaimed. “I hope he has better luck with it. It never starts for me.” “What should I do with the beer?” Debbie sighs. “I should warn him about the car’s problems.” “Sure tell him right after you tell me what to do with the beer.” Her decision made, Debbie heads out the door. “I’ll be right back.”
Her story came to mind after reading the Indy’s “Judges Uphold City’s Homeless Policies.” A man brought a suit against the city that claimed he was roused several times by police for sleeping in his car. The suit contends the plaintiff could not gain access to the city’s 45-bed Alternative Sleeping Location because of policies that favor the local homeless. Further, the plaintiff refused to comply with a screening process to enter a lottery for sleeping spaces locals didn’t claim. The court declined to rule on the merit of the claim because the plaintiff lacked standing to challenge the legality of the city’s policies and thus seek damages in part because he is no longer homeless. There is no mention of plaintiff texting in the suit originally filed in 2012.
An AT&T spokesman when asked about the court ruling had no comment because the spokesman was driving at the time.
Debbie returns from the trip to her occupied car. “Unbelievable.” Her friend still holding the case of beer asks, “Well, did you kick him out?” Debbie says, “Hell no. I like what he did to the interior. He’s hung curtains. Even set up a portable kitchen area, with an open view to the rest of the interior. Much nicer. I told him so.” Her friend puts the case down. Opens one. Takes a swig. “So, he’s staying?” Debbie grins. “Wouldn’t have it any other way. He’s a great designer. I’ll use him when I get a place of my own. I gave him my car keys so he can lock up.”
The plaintiff refused to accept defeat on the court’s ruling. “The honorable jurists did not fully connect to the pleadings,” explained the plaintiff. “One judge did connect to the humiliation and misery of being awakened by a policeman in my car.” Despite the legal setback the plaintiff sees it has a very big win to have progressed this far.
Debbie and friend reconnect at their 10-year college anniversary. The friend asks, “So is the homeless guy still living in your car?” Debbie sighs. “Don’t know. The car’s gone.” The friend asks, “What happened?” Debbie replies, “I think he was as good a mechanic as he was an interior designer. He stole my car.” The friend suppresses a grin. “Too bad.” Debbie answers, “You bet. My home looks terrible. I really needed his design ideas.”
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