Who runs the Homeless Court?
The LA City Attorney’s Office operates the Homeless Court Program (Program) with funding provided by the LA County Board of Supervisors. The LA City Attorney calls the special unit handling the program HEART (Homeless Engagement and Response Team).
Do I get an attorney through the Homeless Court?
The LA City Attorney is a prosecutor’s office and will not be your attorney. If you need an attorney, HEART can give you a connection to one of its partner organizations.
What does HEART help with?
The Homeless Court offers a chance to resolve tickets for eligible infraction level citations (such as minor traffic or quality of life violations) for individuals experiencing homelessness or at risk of experiencing homelessness.
What are some tickets HEART helps with?
HEART frequently helps with tickets for things like speeding, drinking in public, jaywalking, biking without a light, driving without a license. It’s impossible to list them all and it is better to speak with a HEART team member if you have a question about what is covered.
What cannot be handled through the Homeless Court?
Parking tickets, infraction citations issued outside of LA County, METRO tickets, misdemeanor cases, or felony cases cannot be resolved through this Program.
Who is eligible?
Adults qualify if they are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of experiencing homelessness AND are engaged in services.
How can I enroll in Homeless Court?
Approved service providers and justice partners can complete intakes for their clients either over the phone or online with HEART. Individuals that are not connected with a provider can attend an outreach event in the community to participate in services. View our calendar of events here.
How can I keep up to date on upcoming events?
Sign up for our mailing list here (link to constant contact enrollment), or look for calendar updates here.
How can a service provider make referrals?
Email email@example.com or call 213-978-1937 to learn more.
What if I have an ongoing criminal case?
Participants are ineligible if they have an open felony or misdemeanor case. Participants that are on probation but in good standing can enroll in the Homeless Court.
How often can I use the Homeless Court?
A Participant may only use the Program every 18 months to resolve moving violations, and a prosecutor will review the full driving record to determine eligibility.
What happens after I do an intake?
HEART will run and review a full criminal background check for the purpose of determining if the Participant has any eligible offenses or disqualifying factors.
What happens to my tickets after I enroll?
A prosecutor and judge will decide the outcome of all citations. The result may be: a suspension of fines and fees, a dismissal of the case, a recall of the warrant, or no action. Enrolling in the Program does not guarantee a specific outcome.
How long does it take?
It may take several months for the Program and the Court to review eligible infraction cases.
How can I keep track of my tickets?
To obtain a status update call (213) 978-1937 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Program will send updates to the email addresses provided, including any family members the Participant authorizes to obtain information.
What can I do if I’m not unhoused or at risk of becoming unhoused but I cannot afford my ticket?
If you are not unhoused or at risk of experiencing homelessness, you are not eligible for the Homeless Court. You may access some of the resources through the Superior Court to reduce your fines and fees or you may connect with legal counsel by reaching out to one of our legal partners.