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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Felix v. City of New York PN-NY-0047
Docket / Court 1:13-cv-02941-JMF ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Policing
Attorney Organization Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP
Case Summary
On May 2, 2013, six African American and Latino men, represented by a law firm specializing in civil rights litigation, Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady, LLP, and the public interest group The Bronx Defenders, brought this lawsuit against officers of the NYPD and the City of New York in the federal ... read more >
On May 2, 2013, six African American and Latino men, represented by a law firm specializing in civil rights litigation, Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady, LLP, and the public interest group The Bronx Defenders, brought this lawsuit against officers of the NYPD and the City of New York in the federal district court for the Southern District of New York. They alleged that the NYPD had charged them with misdemeanors for what should have been a less serious "violation"; concealed possession of marijuana. The different charges are significantly different as a misdemeanor charge often includes pre-trial detention, numerous court visits, and goes on a person’s criminal record, while a violation doesn’t require pre-trial detention, includes less court visits and doesn’t go on a person’s criminal record. Plaintiffs further claimed that officers of the NYPD were motivated by plaintiffs’ race when targeting them, that this practice was a widespread and well-known in the NYPD, and that it was a result of the NYPD’s policy of requiring officers to fill a quota for misdemeanor arrests. Plaintiffs argued that the NYPD’s practices violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, along with New York law. They sought damages, an injunction explicitly prohibiting NYPD officers from manufacturing misdemeanors for concealed possessions of small amounts of marijuana, and attorneys’ fees under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1988, and New York law.

The case settled on January 7, 2014, when plaintiffs’ accepted New York City’s settlement offers, under which four of the plaintiffs received $12,501, and the other two received $50,001. The city didn’t admit to any legal liability, or admit that the plaintiffs had suffered injury at the hands of the NYPD. The plaintiffs in turn waived any right to continue or renew suit against the city or any of its agents over the NYPD’s actions. On January 30, the court also ordered the city to pay the plaintiffs’ lawyers $125,000 in attorneys’ fees. Plaintiffs did not obtain any declaration or injunction.

Ryan Berry - 06/20/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Unreasonable search and seizure
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
General
Excessive force
Failure to discipline
Failure to supervise
Failure to train
False arrest
Pattern or Practice
Racial profiling
Search policies
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
State law
Defendant(s) New York City
Plaintiff Description Five Bronx residents who allege the NYPD "manufactured" misdemeanor crimes from their conduct.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP
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 Confession of Judgment
Voluntary Dismissal
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2014
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)
1:13-cv-2941 (S.D.N.Y.) 02/03/2014
PN-NY-0047-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint and Jury Demand 05/02/2013
PN-NY-0047-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Amended Complaint and Jury Demand 07/06/2013
PN-NY-0047-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation of Dismissal of Cross Claims 12/18/2013 (S.D.N.Y.)
PN-NY-0047-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judgment Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 68 01/07/2014 (S.D.N.Y.)
PN-NY-0047-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation and Order of Settlement of Attorneys' Fees 02/03/2014
PN-NY-0047-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Fox, Kevin N. (S.D.N.Y.) [Magistrate]
PN-NY-0047-9000
Furman, Jesse Matthew (S.D.N.Y.)
PN-NY-0047-0003 | PN-NY-0047-0004 | PN-NY-0047-0005 | PN-NY-0047-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Levy, Scott Duffield (New York)
PN-NY-0047-0001 | PN-NY-0047-0002 | PN-NY-0047-0003 | PN-NY-0047-0005 | PN-NY-0047-9000
Rosenfeld, Katherine (New York)
PN-NY-0047-0001 | PN-NY-0047-0002 | PN-NY-0047-0003 | PN-NY-0047-0005 | PN-NY-0047-9000
Shapiro, Samuel (New York)
PN-NY-0047-0001 | PN-NY-0047-0002 | PN-NY-0047-0003 | PN-NY-0047-0005 | PN-NY-0047-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Beath, Patrick (New York)
PN-NY-0047-0003 | PN-NY-0047-0004 | PN-NY-0047-0005 | PN-NY-0047-9000
Cardozo, Michael A. (New York)
PN-NY-0047-0003 | PN-NY-0047-0004
Friedlander, Jeffrey (New York)
PN-NY-0047-0005
Garber, Mitchell S. (New York)
PN-NY-0047-0004
Seligman, Rachel Amy (New York)
PN-NY-0047-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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