University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Datz v. Suffolk County PN-NY-0021
Docket / Court 12-CV-1770 ( E.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Policing
Speech and Religious Freedom
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
On April 4th, 2012, a professional video journalist filed a lawsuit in the United States Eastern District of New York against Suffolk County and one of its police officers, alleging violations of the plaintiff's rights under the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments, the Privacy Protection Act, ... read more >
On April 4th, 2012, a professional video journalist filed a lawsuit in the United States Eastern District of New York against Suffolk County and one of its police officers, alleging violations of the plaintiff's rights under the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments, the Privacy Protection Act, and state law. The plaintiff, represented by the New York Civil Liberties Foundation and private attorneys, asked the court for a declaratory judgment, compensatory damages, punitive damages, injunctive, and attorney's fees.

Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that while filming a police proceeding, the defendant police officer ordered him to "go away." The plaintiff then moved to another public area farther away and continued filming, at which point the defendant police officer drove his car towards plaintiff, allegedly causing plaintiff to fear for his safety. The defendant police officer then arrested the plaintiff and confiscated his camera and other belongings. The plaintiff was detained for approximately two hours at the police station. The complaint also implicated the county's policies, and argued the defendant police officer's actions were the result of a department policy to engage in such unconstitutional behavior.

The parties have engaged in discovery, with jury selection slated for June 9th, 2014.

James Herr - 02/24/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Freedom of speech/association
Unreasonable search and seizure
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Law-enforcement
General
Failure to train
False arrest
Pattern or Practice
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action State law
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Suffolk County
Plaintiff Description A professional photojournalist was filming police activity. After being told by defendant to "go away," plaintiff moved down the street and continued filming, at which point defendant arrested plaintiff and seized his camera and video tape.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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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 ]

  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)
2:12-cv-01770 (E.D.N.Y.) 01/28/2014
PN-NY-0021-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [Trail by Jury Demanded] 04/11/2012
PN-NY-0021-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Wexler, Leonard D. (E.D.N.Y.)
PN-NY-0021-0001 | PN-NY-0021-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Balin, Robert D. (New York)
PN-NY-0021-0001 | PN-NY-0021-9000
Bayard, Samuel (New York)
PN-NY-0021-0001 | PN-NY-0021-9000
Osterreicher, Mickey H. (New York)
PN-NY-0021-0001
Schary, Alison Brooke (New York)
PN-NY-0021-0001 | PN-NY-0021-9000
Stoughton, Corey (New York)
PN-NY-0021-0001 | PN-NY-0021-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Davis, Brian J. (New York)
PN-NY-0021-9000
Dunne, Richard T. (New York)
PN-NY-0021-9000
Flynn, Susan (New York)
PN-NY-0021-9000
Zwilling, Arlene S. (New York)
PN-NY-0021-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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