People of New Orleans 9th Ward Win Restraining Order Against City
Kirk v. City of New Orleans, filed December 28th; the people of New Orleans 9th Ward won a temporary restraining order against the city of New Orleans to prevent bulldozing and demolition of property until a full hearing can be held on January 6th.
Lawyers Bill Quigley and Judson Mitchell of the Loyola Law Clinic, Judith Browne and Ishmael Muhammad of Advancement Project and Grassroots Legal Network, and New Orleans Lawyer Tracie Washington headed the lawsuit filed on behalf of individual homeowners from New Orleans, The Lower 9th Ward Neighborhood Council, New Life Intracoastal CSC, The People’s Hurricane Relief Fund, Louisiana ACORN, and Hope House. “We won’t rest until the survivors rights are protected,” explained Bill Quigley.
The suit was filed in response to an announcement by city officials that 2,500 homes would be demolished beginning immediately and 3,000 more would soon follow. The city has not included homeowners in this decision nor properly notified individuals that their homes are slated for demolition. Those filing the suit hope that the city will work to resolve these issues before the full hearing on January 6th.
“There can be no justice in the rebuilding process unless the residents and homeowners can fully participate. The restraining order is a major victory for the people of the 9th Ward, who want to be heard,” stated Ishmael Muhammad, Advancement Project Staff Attorney.
“The people of New Orleans will see justice after all,” explained Judith Browne, Co-Director of Advancement Project, “The government failed them before and during the hurricane but we will make sure that they see justice in the end. We stopped the evictions and now we must protect property rights and ensure the right to return.”