University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Battle v. City of New York PN-NY-0011
Docket / Court 1:11-cv-03599-RMB -HBP ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Policing
Special Collection Stop-and-Frisk (NY)
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
On May 21, 2011, plaintiffs, two men of color, filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. §1983 and state law against the City of New York in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Foley Square. The plaintiffs, represented by the New York Civil Liberties Union, asked the ... read more >
On May 21, 2011, plaintiffs, two men of color, filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. §1983 and state law against the City of New York in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Foley Square. The plaintiffs, represented by the New York Civil Liberties Union, asked the court for injunction and compensatory relief, claiming that their Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights had been violated. Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that the New York City Police Department (NYPD) had violated their rights by unreasonably searching them during routine livery cab stops.

On September 3, 2010, at 11:30 P.M., one plaintiff, a lawyer in the Bronx, was leaving work and chose to use a livery cab. The cab was enrolled in the Taxi/Livery Robbery Inspection Program (TRIP), which gave consent for the cab to be stopped and inspected by the NYPD. The cab displayed a decal that indicated enrollment in TRIP. The NYPD stopped the livery cab, and ordered the plaintiff out of the vehicle. The plaintiff protested the search without reasonable suspicion, but the police indicated that enrollment in the TRIP program gave them the right to search passengers in the livery cab. Nothing was found.

On October 30, 2010, at 3:00 A.M., the second plaintiff, who was a manager at a popular radio station and a comedian, was returning to his home in Brooklyn in a livery cab. This cab was also enrolled in TRIP. The car was stopped and the plaintiff ordered to exit the vehicle, at which point the plaintiff's person and belongings were searched. Again, nothing was found.

The plaintiffs' case was accepted by the NYCLU and the New York University School of Law Civil Rights Clinic, and a complaint was filed alleging that the search of passengers in livery cabs without reasonable suspicion was unconstitutional.

On May 14, 2012, the Court (Judge Richard M. Berman) entered a stipulation and order of dismissal, because the case had settled. The Settlement contained $10,000 relief for each plaintiff ($20,000 total), $38,000 in attorney's fees, and injunctive-like provisions. The NYPD agreed to suspend its routine searching of passengers of vehicles that were pulled over as part of the TRIPS program. The NYPD further agreed that it would only search passengers when reasonable suspicion of a violent crime existed. Furthermore, the NYPD provided information that it was amending its training manual, informing officers at roll-call citywide (repeating it for 10 day periods, for three times over the next year), and issuing an operations order communicating the order to not search passengers absent reasonable suspicion of a violent crime during a TRIP stop.

The case was dismissed with the approval of the settlement.

Blase Kearney - 05/20/2012


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Unreasonable search and seizure
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
State law
Defendant(s) New York Police Department
Plaintiff Description Two livery car passengers who were stopped and searched by the NYPD.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2012 - 2012
Case Closing Year 2012
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
Case Studies Federal Enforcement of Police Reform
By: Stephen Rushin (University of Illinois College of Law, University of California, Berkeley - Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program )
Citation: 82 Fordham Law Review 3189 (2014)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Jail Strip-Search Cases: Patterns and Participants
http://law.duke.edu/journals/lcp
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University in St. Louis)
Citation: 71 Law & Contemp. Problems 65 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Panopticism for Police: Structural Reform Bargaining and Police Regulation by Data-Driven Surveillance
By: Mary D. Fan (University of Washington)
Citation: Forthcoming, 87 Washington L. Rev. __ (2012).
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  What Happens When Police Are Forced to Reform?
Written: Nov. 13, 2015
By: Kimbriell Kelly, Sarah Childress and Steven Rich (Frontline/Post)
Citation: Washington Post (Nov. 13, 2015)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:11-cv-03599-RMB -HBP (S.D.N.Y.) 05/14/2012
PN-NY-0011-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
First Amended Complaint 07/21/2011
PN-NY-0011-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation and Order of Settlement and Dismissal 05/14/2012
PN-NY-0011-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
NYCLU Settlement Ends Stop-and-Frisk of Livery Cab Passengers 05/16/2012
PN-NY-0011-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Judges Berman, Richard M. (S.D.N.Y.)
PN-NY-0011-0001 | PN-NY-0011-9000
Pitman, Henry B. (S.D.N.Y.) [Magistrate]
PN-NY-0011-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Cardozo, Michael A. (New York)
PN-NY-0011-0001 | PN-NY-0011-9000
Dunn, Christopher (New York)
PN-NY-0011-0001 | PN-NY-0011-0002 | PN-NY-0011-0003 | PN-NY-0011-9000
Eisenberg, Arthur (New York)
PN-NY-0011-0003 | PN-NY-0011-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Breslow, Stephanie Marie (New York)
PN-NY-0011-9000
Jackson, Joey (New York)
PN-NY-0011-9000
Zuckerman, Mark (New York)
PN-NY-0011-0001 | PN-NY-0011-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -