University of Michigan Law School
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Case Name Lima v. Newark Police Department PN-NJ-0005
Docket / Court 08-cv-00426 ( D.N.J. )
State/Territory New Jersey
Case Type(s) Policing
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Center for Constitutional Rights
Case Summary
Plaintiff, the editor of a local newspaper, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts against the Newark Police Department on January 23, 2008 under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and N.J.S.A. 10:6-1. Plaintiff, represented by attorneys from Seton Hall University School of Law and the ACLU of ... read more >
Plaintiff, the editor of a local newspaper, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts against the Newark Police Department on January 23, 2008 under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and N.J.S.A. 10:6-1. Plaintiff, represented by attorneys from Seton Hall University School of Law and the ACLU of New Jersey, sought damages, alleging that police officers violated his First Amendment right to receive and record information for later dissemination, Fourth Amendment right to be free from unlawful searches and seizures, corresponding provisions in the New Jersey State Constitution, and the New Jersey Reporter Shield Law. Specifically, plaintiff's allegations revolved around an August 4, 2007 incident in which Newark Police Department officers confiscated a photographer's camera and detained plaintiff under threat of arrest until he agreed to turn over all copies of photographs related to a murder in a rash of violence in the city described as an embarrassment to local law enforcement.

On December 23, 2009, plaintiff petitioned for judgment after agreeing with the Newark Police Department to settle the case in the amount of $55,000. On the same day, plaintiff also filed a Request to File an Application for Attorneys' Fees. In entering judgment on February 22, 2010, the District Court (Judge Faith S. Hochberg) granted the judgment in the amount of $55,000 and denied plaintiff's request for attorneys' fees on the grounds that the settlement agreement included all attorneys' fees.

Plaintiff appealed that decision to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals on March 9, 2010. On July 19, 2011, the Court of Appeals (Judge Thomas M. Hardiman) reversed the District Court and held that, since the offer of settlement did not explicitly reference the inclusion of fees, attorneys' fees were not included in the settlement. The case was remanded to the District Court to determine reasonable attorneys' fees pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1988.

On October 13, 2011, the parties settled the remaining attorneys' fees claim. On October 24, 2011, the District Court (Judge Faith S. Hochberg) ordered the case closed. Plaintiff entered a notice that the judgment of $55,000, and additional attorneys' fees, had been paid in full on October 23, 2012.

Brendan Brown - 09/21/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Freedom of speech/association
Unreasonable search and seizure
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
Discrimination-basis
Immigration status
General
Aggressive behavior
National Origin/Ethnicity
Other
Plaintiff Type
City/County Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Newark Police Department
Plaintiff Description the editor of a local newspaper
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Center for Constitutional Rights
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Damages
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2012
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)
2:08−cv−00426 (D.N.J.) 10/23/2012
PN-NJ-0005-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 01/23/2008
PN-NJ-0005-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint 01/05/2009
PN-NJ-0005-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notice of Settlement 02/22/2010 (D.N.J.)
PN-NJ-0005-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion of the Court 07/19/2011 (658 F.3d 324)
PN-NJ-0005-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Satisfaction of Judgment 10/23/2012
PN-NJ-0005-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Aldisert, Ruggero John (Third Circuit)
PN-NJ-0005-0003
Hardiman, Thomas Michael (W.D. Pa., Third Circuit)
PN-NJ-0005-0003
Hochberg, Faith S. (D.N.J.)
PN-NJ-0005-0004 | PN-NJ-0005-9000
Shwartz, Patty (Third Circuit, D.N.J.) [Magistrate]
PN-NJ-0005-9000
Sloviter, Dolores Korman (Third Circuit)
PN-NJ-0005-0003
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Azmy, Baher (New York)
PN-NJ-0005-0001 | PN-NJ-0005-0002 | PN-NJ-0005-9000
Barocas, Edward (New Jersey)
PN-NJ-0005-0001 | PN-NJ-0005-0002 | PN-NJ-0005-0005 | PN-NJ-0005-9000
Gabor, Steven M. (New Jersey)
PN-NJ-0005-9000
Goldberg, Emily B. (New Jersey)
PN-NJ-0005-0002 | PN-NJ-0005-9000
Moses, Barbara (New Jersey)
PN-NJ-0005-0005
Norwick, Michael A. (New Jersey)
PN-NJ-0005-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bhalla, Ravinder S. (New Jersey)
PN-NJ-0005-9000
Cho, Monica Y. (New Jersey)
PN-NJ-0005-9000
Lipshutz, Gary S. (New Jersey)
PN-NJ-0005-9000
Navas, Diego F. (New Jersey)
PN-NJ-0005-9000
Polak, Frederick Benno (New Jersey)
PN-NJ-0005-9000
Ricci, Ronald J. (New Jersey)
PN-NJ-0005-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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