A Man's Truck Is His Palace?

In a move to grant further autonomy and rights to the homeless population of Seattle, a court found in favor of a man who argued his truck was his home and should not have been towed after he didn't move for 72 hours.
March 8, 2018, 2pm PST | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Don Hankins

Steven Long lives in his 2000 GMC truck. One day after coming home from work he found that truck was gone. Seattle law requires that vehicles parked on the street be moved every 72 hours, Mr. Long's truck had been towed to the impound. Long sued the city and won.

"King County Superior Court Judge Catherine Shaffer ruled that the city’s impoundment of Long’s truck violated the state’s homestead act — a frontier-era law that protects properties from forced sale — because he was using it as a home. Long’s vehicle was slated to be sold had he not entered into a monthly payment plan with the city," Vianna Davila writes in The Seattle Times.

Long's attorney suggested that the finding could change the way parking laws are enforced for people living in their cars around the state. King County alone is home to more than 2,000 people living in cars according to a 2017 point-in-time count.

Some see the possibility that the change in the law may cause problems for the city, Davila writes, "Police and parking-enforcement officers could now find themselves in a bind if they can’t definitively determine whether a vehicle is simply abandoned or is someone’s home, said Assistant City Attorney Michael Ryan."

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Published on Saturday, March 3, 2018 in The Seattle Times
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