University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Sultan v. Kelly PN-NY-0025
Docket / Court 1:09-cv-00698-RJD-RER ( E.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Policing
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
On February 19, 2009, the plaintiff, a New York resident of South Asian ethnicity, filed a lawsuit against the City of New York in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, under 42 U.S.C. §1983 The plaintiff, represented by the New York Civil Liberties Union, asked ... read more >
On February 19, 2009, the plaintiff, a New York resident of South Asian ethnicity, filed a lawsuit against the City of New York in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, under 42 U.S.C. §1983 The plaintiff, represented by the New York Civil Liberties Union, asked the court for a declaratory judgment that the City of New York's policing practices violated the Equal Protection Clause, and for injunctive relief mandating training, supervision, and monitoring to ensure that people are selected for searches without bias.

Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that in 2005 the City of New York established a subway-bag search program that encouraged racial profiling by officers, because officers do not need to report any demographic data on selected persons, and because allegedly officers have total discretion to set what fraction of passengers they search and may change that number at will. The plaintiff claimed that officers selected him twenty-one times over three years, a very disproportionate number. Officers stopped his partner, who is white, only once during the same three-year period. He alleged that this was based on his race, pointing out that officers stopped him in his work scrubs, in a suit, and while he was wearing casual clothing.

The complaint explained that the plaintiff had reported these searches to the Civilian Complaint Review Board ("CCRB") eight times, but nothing was done to address his complaints. On May 20, 2009, the Court entered an order of dismissal after the parties reached a settlement.

On June 30, 2009, the Court entered the stipulation and order of settlement. The settlement stipulated that the City of New York would pay the plaintiff $10,000, plus $15,000 in attorneys' fees/expenses. In return, he agreed to dismiss his claims and release the defendants from any liability resulting from the events alleged in the complaint.

Nick Kabat - 03/17/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Unreasonable search and seizure
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Law-enforcement
Discrimination-basis
National origin discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
Racial profiling
Search policies
Terrorism/Post 9-11 issues
National Origin/Ethnicity
Arab/Afgani/Middle Eastern
Indian
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action State law
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) City of New York
Plaintiff Description New York resident of South-Asian ethnicity.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted Moot
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Damages
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2009
Case Ongoing No
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)
09-CIV-698 (E.D.N.Y.) 06/30/2009
PN-NY-0025-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 02/19/2009
PN-NY-0025-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation and Order of Settlement And Discontinuance 06/29/2009 (2009 WL 4959352) (E.D.N.Y.)
PN-NY-0025-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Dearie, Raymond Joseph (E.D.N.Y., D.D.C.)
PN-NY-0025-0002 | PN-NY-0025-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Dunn, Christopher (New York)
PN-NY-0025-0001 | PN-NY-0025-0002 | PN-NY-0025-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Cardozo, Michael A. (New York)
PN-NY-0025-0002
Hazan, David M. (New York)
PN-NY-0025-0002 | PN-NY-0025-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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