Lawsuit challenges crackdowns on homeless people in Denver

A lawsuit challenging Denver's sweeps of the homeless is the latest in a string of cases opposing crackdowns on people camping in public around the country.

It accuses the city of violating the constitutional due process rights of the homeless to be protected from unreasonable searches and seizures and to be treated equally under the law as part of an effort to clear them from areas being gentrified.

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Some of the other challenges have resulted in payouts to the homeless and agreements to change how their belongings are seized and stored.

Last month, a federal judge in Washington state found a county liable for clearing out homeless encampments and seizing the residents' belongings. That led the county to settle the case for $250,000. Los Angeles and Honolulu have also settled similar lawsuits.

The first hearing in Denver's lawsuit drew dozens of homeless people and their advocates to federal court on Oct. 12 even though it was mainly to discuss scheduling.