(FOX40.COM) — A federal judge extended until September the order that prohibits the city of Sacramento from clearing encampments due to the high temperatures in the state.
Judge Troy L. Nunley issued the ruling Wednesday, extending the prohibition through the end of August.
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When first issued on August 3, the order prohibited clearing encampments until August 17 because of extreme heat.
Under the updated ruling, the city can still enforce a rule that requires sidewalks to have at least four feet of space cleared for passersby, and city workers can collect trash, debris and other items that may create safety issues at encampments.
The city is also allowed to enforce a ban on encampments that are within 500 feet of a school.
The Sacramento Homeless Union, which requested the order from the court, is also permitted to tour Miller Park and its facilities, where the city has been running a temporary shelter for the unhoused.
Under the group’s request for the original order, it cited that the location has shelters on asphalt and in direct sun, which it alleges does not provide full relief from the extreme heat.
The city has agreed to provide structures that will provide shade to the tents and also tents made of different materials.
In Wednesday’s ruling, the judge asked the city to explain why it should not be held in contempt of court after a contractor hired by the city cleared encampments in the first days of the original order that prohibited it from doing so.
On Aug. 4 and 7, an encampment outside of City Hall was cleared in violation of the order. The city attributed the oversight to employees not having notified a vendor that maintains the City Hall facilities.
The city has until Aug. 23 to provide an answer to the court.
City leaders have also been involved in an ongoing fight against the Sacramento County District Attorney’s office, which has threatened to take legal action against elected leaders for allegedly not enforcing the city’s own rules against encampments in certain public areas.
Earlier this year, the DA sent a letter to the city requesting it to enforce the rules at county facilities located in downtown Sacramento, including the Superior Court and the DA’s offices.