Steven Long of Seattle, Washington is a homeless man who has been living in his truck within the city limits since 2014. Last year, Mr. Long parked his truck on Popular Street for a period of five months. During this time, he was cited on numerous occasions for parking violations. According to city regulations, a driver will receive a parking ticket if his car is continuously parked on the street for more than 72 hours.
The unpaid parking fines continued to mount. The city took action impounding Mr. Long’s truck until he paid for his unpaid parking tickets.
Mr. Long wasn’t about to pay to get his vehicle out of impound. In his mind, his truck was his home, and the city had no right to impound his home. Steven Long took Seattle to court.
This week, a judge made the ruling that Seattle cannot impound Mr. Long’s truck, and the city cannot sell the truck. The judge based his ruling on the Homestead Act. This act states that no person can be forced to sell his primary residence to pay for an outstanding debt. Since the truck was Mr. Long’s primary residence, the judge ruled that it was exempt from sale under the Homestead Act.
City officials were astounded by the ruling. While no decision has been made, an appeal is under consideration.
It is estimated that there are 5,400 homeless people in Seattle. Half of these people live in their cars. Per the judge’s ruling, these car dwellers cannot have their vehicles impounded by the city, but parking tickets may still be issued to violators.