City of Los Angeles Put on Notice of Class-Action Lawsuit Alleging Constitutional Violation and Public Nuisance Due to Failure to Control Homeless Encampments

June 20, 2024 (Los Angeles, CA) – Today, the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) served the City of Los Angeles with notice that it intends to file a lawsuit against the City for effectively taking private property in violation of the Takings Clause of the U.S. Constitution and for creating public nuisances.  The notice is a procedural requirement prior to suing the City.

The thrust of the claims on behalf of AFLC’s client, Adom Ratner-Stauber, a substantial property owner-manager, is that the City has failed to control homelessness and that the homeless encampments occupying his property and surrounding properties have caused, and continue to cause, significant property damage and financial loss.

Examples of the City’s failure to police homelessness as set forth in Mr. Ratner-Stauber’s sworn affidavit include the following:

  • The City allows homeless individuals with motor homes, tents, garbage, and other items constantly to impair, and frequently to completely block, the free flow of vehicular and pedestrian traffic to his property.
  • The City allows homeless individuals with their encampments, motor homes, trash and other items predominately, and at times entirely, to block access to his property.
  • The City allows homeless individuals—members of the public—to freely access his private property.
  • The City allows homeless individuals to break into his property at night to destroy the property and dump trash and other filth on his private property.
  • The City allows homeless individuals to steal water and electricity from his  properties and the City poles supplying electricity to the properties.  One such theft of electricity caused a motor home to catch on fire, which then spread to his property and burned down a tree.
  • Mr. Ratner-Stauber had to expend considerable funds to build blockades to prevent sewage and other filth from flowing into his property from the nearby homeless encampments during rainstorms.
  • Mr. Ratner-Stauber has contacted the City about these issues numerous times, yet the City allows homeless individuals to continue to access his private property, block access to his private property, and severely impair access to his private property.
  • All of this diminishes the value of the property and decreases the income derived from the property as he has had to offer reduced rents, and he continues to struggle to gain or retain tenants.

David Yerushalmi, Senior Counsel and Co-Founder of AFLC noted:

“This soon-to-be-filed class action lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Police Department will be a first of its kind and a model for future litigation to force progressive cities in California, Washington state, and Oregon to actually provide for the health, safety, and property rights of their respective law-abiding property owners.  For years, progressive city administrations have simply thrown their law-abiding residents to the wolves.”

The City of Los Angeles has 45 days to respond to the notice of claim.  Typically, the City either rejects claims or ignores them.  In either case, the class action complaint will be filed immediately after the 45-day notice period.

AFLC Senior Counsel and Co-Founder Robert Muise explained:

“This is not a lawsuit against the unfortunates who find themselves homeless.  Nor is it a lawsuit to force the City of Los Angeles to solve all of the homelessness and crime problems that its policies have wrecked upon its residents.  Rather, it is a lawsuit to proclaim that the City has a duty to provide property owners with the right to access and enjoy their property without threat of criminal violence and the risks attendant to policing their own property – duties that are properly the responsibility of government.”


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