United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Fort Wayne Division
KEITH SEE, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
CITY OF FORT WAYNE, in its official capacity Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
THERESA L. SPRINGMANN CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT
matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff Keith See's
First Amended Motion for Class Certification [ECF No. 69].
Defendant City of Fort Wayne timely filed its Response to the
Plaintiff's First Amended Motion for Class Certification
[ECF No. 70]. The Plaintiff timely filed his Reply [ECF No.
71]. This matter is thus fully briefed and ripe for review.
background is provided through the pleadings, class
certification motions, and attached exhibits. The Plaintiff
alleges that the Defendant has an official policy of seizing
and summarily destroying the unattended property of homeless
individuals. (First Am. Class Action Compl. ¶ 1, ECF No.
17.) More specifically, the Plaintiff alleges that the
Defendant has conducted more than ten raids on camps of
homeless individuals in the downtown and central areas of
Fort Wayne between December 2014 and May 2016. (Id.
¶ 2.) After each raid, the Defendant destroyed any
seized property without providing individuals an opportunity
or procedure to reclaim the seized property, prevent its
destruction, or receive compensation. (Id.)
Plaintiff hopes to prevent these raids, and has brought this
action on behalf of himself and all other similarly situated
as a member in the following proposed class:
All individuals residing in Fort Wayne, Indiana who are
homeless or without a fixed address possessing personal
property that may be left temporarily unattended and subject
to the seizure and destruction policy of Defendant.
(Id. ¶ 12.)
Plaintiff further alleges that the Defendant conducted each
raid knowing that the property seized belonged to homeless
individuals who were only temporarily absent from the site of
their property. (Id. ¶ 25.) The Plaintiff
further declares that the Defendant has never provided
homeless individuals with an alternative location to live or
store personal property not subject to the Defendant's
policy. (Id. ¶ 27.)
Defendant's policy negatively impacted the Plaintiff. The
Plaintiff lived in a homeless encampment in downtown Fort
Wayne in March 2016. (Id. ¶ 30.) On or about
March 21, 2016, the Defendant evicted homeless individuals
from the encampment and seized and destroyed these
individuals' personal property, including the
Plaintiff's coat. (Id. ¶ 31.) The Plaintiff
reasonably feared further property seizure and destruction,
and as such had to move from additional homeless encampments
on May 3 and May 5, 2016. (Id. ¶¶ 36, 38.)
The Defendant opposes class certification, and also
highlights that the Plaintiff is no longer homeless.
proposed class meets all of the requirements of Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 23(a) and one of the requirements of Rule
23(b), then class certification is proper. See Fed.
R. Civ. P. 23; Rosario v. Livaditis, 963 F.2d 1013,
1017 (7th Cir. 1992). Rule 23(a) is satisfied if:
(1) the class is so numerous that joinder of all members is
(2) there are questions of law or fact common to the class;
(3) the claims or defenses of the representative parties are
typical of the claims or ...