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A Disabled Homeless Woman Goes to Court

A 7 a.m. Citation on State Street Gets Courtney Caswell-Peyton an Appointment with the Judge


Thursday, September 2, 2010

At 8:15 a.m. on August 31, Courtney Caswell-Peyton appears at the corner of Anacapa and Figueroa streets, pushing herself in her wheelchair while balancing a stuffed-to-the-brim backpack on her lap. She is moving quickly, and halfway up the block the backpack slips off her lap and onto the street. She retrieves it, with some difficulty, then she continues on her way.

Caswell-Peyton, who is in her mid thirties, is moving with purpose because she has an 8 a.m. appointment at Superior Court. She is going to be arraigned on a charge of violating Penal Code Section 647 (e) — unlawful lodging. She received the citation on August 1 at 7 a.m. on the 1000 block of State Street where, presumably, she’d fallen asleep.

In its settlement of an ACLU lawsuit, the City of Santa Barbara agreed to refrain from ticketing 50 of the city’s most chronically homeless disabled people for illegal sleeping and camping and for violating section 647 (e) of the Penal Code. Caswell-Peyton is chronically homeless and disabled; she’s been homeless here for at least two years and in a wheelchair the whole time. To read more, see homelessinsb.org.

Billy Collins & Aimee Mann

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