In this case, the ACLU of Colorado provided criminal defense for Adam Wiemold, a homeless man who was charged with illegal “camping” by Fort Collins police for sleeping in his vehicle at a designated rest area where truck drivers regularly sleep in their vehicles undisturbed by police.

The Fort Collins camping ordinance forbids sleeping in public spaces, including inside a person's own legally-parked vehicle.  

The ACLU relies on a federal court of appeals ruling that holds that the Constitution forbids cities from prosecuting homeless persons for sleeping in public places when they have no alternative.  In his job at a local nonprofit, Mr. Wiemold works in a supervisory role with clients in the unhoused community.  Because sleeping in a shelter with clients poses unacceptable boundary issues, he has no choice but to sleep in public places.

Mr. Wiemold was convicted in Fort Collins Municipal Court.  On appeal, the Larimer County District Court reversed the conviction, holding that the prosecution in Mr. Wiemold's case violated the Constitution.  

ACLU news releases:



Mark Silverstein, Rebecca Wallace

Pro Bono Law Firm(s)

Adam Frank, Frank & Salahuddin LLC