Homeless Citation Legal Clinics

NLG Skid Row and Venice Homeless Citation ClinicsIf you are interested in volunteering or have any questions, please email Weston Rowland at: rowlandweston@gmail.com or by phone at (626) 344- 9587

Our clinics take place:

  • In Venice on the third Saturday of each month from 11am to 2pm; and
    • Location: At the intersection of Dudley and Ocean Front Walk, the closest address is 325 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291, look for a white tarp with a white sign that says Venice Justice Committee.
  • In Skid Row on the first Wednesday of each month from 5pm to 7pm.
    •  Location: Los Angeles Community Action Network at 838 E 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90021.

We are always looking for more volunteer lawyers to join the clinics. This is a great opportunity to get courtroom experience and help people in need. Please complete the form below to get involved and prepare to arrive 15 minutes before the clinic begins.

Sign up

What are Homeless Citation Legal Clinics?

The City of Los Angeles and LAPD have systematically cited people experiencing homelessness for minor “quality of life” violations in Venice and downtown in an effort to drive them from these rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods.

These are minor citations for things like sitting on the sidewalk, sleeping on the beach, smoking in public, urinating in public (bathrooms are closed at night), jaywalking, etc.

In response NLG-LA along with Los Angeles Community Action Network and Venice Justice Committee have held Homeless Citation Clinics in Venice since Fall 2014, and Skid Row since Summer 2015.

The clinics are staffed by community volunteers, law students and pro bono lawyers, holding regular intakes, then providing lawyers to go to court to fight the cases. Often times, the battle in court involves explaining to the judge our clients’ situations, how they became and remain homeless, and how the cost of the ticket will greatly harm them in their efforts to survive. So far our lawyers have been extremely successful in getting cases dismissed.


The National Lawyers Guild Los Angeles sponsors know-your-rights trainings and legal clinics in the community. Please be advised that the NLG’s sponsorship of these information sessions is not intended to and does not create an agreement to represent you in any legal matter. Unless you have a signed retainer agreement (contract) with the National Lawyers Guild, we do not represent you. Only the Executive Director, with the approval of the Board of Directors of the National Lawyers Guild, can approve representing you. Thus, you shouldn’t assume that because NLG-LA or its members had some contact with you, that they are your lawyer or have taken on legal work for you.
If you have provided information to the National Lawyers Guild, the information you provide on our forms and during our intake interviews will always be kept confidential and shall not be disclosed to anyone, or for any purpose, without your express agreement, and then only to those other than to NLA-LA employees, and NLG-LA attorneys who need to know such confidential information to provide legal support services to you.
STATUE OF LIMITATIONS Depending upon the incident you were involved it is important that you know about deadlines that apply to bringing a civil rights lawsuit for damages if your constitutional rights were violated by law enforcement. This may include a false arrest or injuries as a result of an arrest or use of force by law enforcement. California Government Code Sec. 910 requires that you file a claim for damages with the responsible agency/agencies within 6 months of the violation of your rights. You do not have to submit a pre-filing claim to protect your federal civil rights, but you are still subject to filing deadlines, usually up to two years from the date of the incident. Other pre-filing requirements may apply depending on what your injury was and who you want to sue. You should consult with an attorney to make sure you meet all statutes of limitations.