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City, (de)Occupy to file agreement on property seizures

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    Honolulu City and County officials cleared the last Occupy and homeless encampment on KIng Street fronting the Blaisdell Concert Hall on Wednesday. Here

City and (de)Occupy Honolulu lawyers will submit an agreement as early as next week that will outline protections for the group members’ property seized by the city from Honolulu sidewalks.

The filing of the agreement was made clear today at a hearing before U.S. District Judge Michael Seabright on the group’s challenge to the constitutionality of a city ordinance.

The ordinance permits the city to seize tents and other items tagged by city officials at least 24 hours in advance.

The agreement will incorporate a current stipulation between the city and the group that provides protections that include a tent owner being allowed to remove untagged items from the tent before it is impounded.

Richard Holcomb, lawyer for the group, said the agreement will include addition provisions such as developing a procedure for the return of the property.

The group’s challenge is to the ordinance that city has been using to clear sidewalks, but does not contest a bill passed by the city Council this year that allows the city to remove items without the tagging requirement.

The city is in the process of creating rules for its enforcement, which Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s administration believes will begin next month.

Holcomb said the new ordinance hasn’t been enforced yet and it might be appropriate to challenge it in another case.

Seabright did not rule on the city’s request to dismiss the lawsuit.

Holcomb said the judge may dismiss some claims, but enough will remain for the lawsuit to continue.

City attorneys declined to comment, referring questions to the city spokesman. 

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