The ACLU of Texas filed a lawsuit on behalf of three homeless Houstonian plaintiffs adversely affected by the city’s camping and panhandling ordinances. Taken together, these ordinances illegally deprive homeless Houstonians of shelter, infringe on their right to free speech and ultimately constitute a criminalization of homelessness itself.

Shortly after this lawsuit was filed, the court entered a temporary restraining order to stop the city from ticketing or arresting unsheltered homeless people for using tents. Even after the court lifted the order, the city has maintained an internal order instructing police officers not to enforce the camping ban.

Update (8/1/19): The ACLU of Texas has withdrawn from participation in this case as of August 2019.

Date filed

May 12, 2017


U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas



Case number