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Resource ID: #29018
Subject: Public Nuisance Law
Source: Jacob Ryan, Alexandra Kanik
Affiliation: Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting
Date: 2019-12-18



This story examined the enforcement of a little-known public nuisance law in Louisville, Ky. We found victims of domestic violence, people struggling with addiction, and minor offenders are often labeled a nuisance after just one incident with police. This can lead to eviction or threats of eviction, and can have a chilling effect on crime victims who fear a call for help could lead to a loss of housing. We also found that police and city code enforcement officials don’t follow their own rules when it comes to labeling properties a public nuisance. And local lawmakers who approved expanding the law were clueless as to how it was being enforced. Upon hearing our findings, police and city officials vowed to make changes, and council members promised to seek explanations.
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