In July 2023, the ACLU of Hawaiʻi filed a lawsuit against the City and County of Honolulu challenging sweeps and other so-called enforcement actions that disrupt and disenfranchise unsheltered residents of Oahu.
The ACLU of Hawaiʻi along with civil rights firm, Goldstein Borgen Dardarian & Ho, filed the lawsuit in Hawaiʻi's First Circuit Court on behalf of five plaintiffs who have been dispossessed, displaced, and criminalized by the City simply for existing in public spaces. The lawsuit asserts that the City—through its sweeps—is violating Plaintiffs' right to be free of cruel or unusual punishment as well as the fundamental rights of free movement and due process. The class action complaint seeks to provide relief for the roughly 2,300 other involuntarily houseless individuals living on Oʻahu who suffer similar treatment by the City.
In August 2023, plaintiffs filed a motion for preliminary injunction that would force the City to immediately stop targeted enforcement actions—including sweeps, citations, and arrests—to prevent further irreparable harm to the Plaintiffs while the merits of the case are being litigated. The First Circuit Court held an evidentiary hearing on October 4, 2023.