University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Lawler v. City of New York PN-NY-0034
Docket / Court 1:12-cv-05843-RWS ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Policing
Special Collection Occupy
Case Summary
On July 31, 2012, a New York resident who was arrested while participating in the Occupy Wall Street protests filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against the City of New York. The complaint was brought under 42 U.S.C. 1983 and alleged violations of the 1 ... read more >
On July 31, 2012, a New York resident who was arrested while participating in the Occupy Wall Street protests filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against the City of New York. The complaint was brought under 42 U.S.C. 1983 and alleged violations of the 1st, 4th and 14th amendments. The plaintiff, represented by private counsel, sought compensatory and punitive damages, as well as injunctive relief in the form of a permanent injunction requiring the City to comply with federal standards regarding the use of force by police.

Specifically, the New York resident alleged that while participating in a march near Union Square Park, New York Police Department officers deployed nets to surround participants, and used pepper spray and unreasonable force against them.

On November 13, 2012, the defendant requested that cases stemming from the same September 24, 2011 incident be consolidated. On November 30, 2012, the Court (Judge Robert W. Sweet) ordered that the cases be granted the motion and consolidated href="https://www.clearinghouse.net/detail.php?id=13708">Lawler v. City of New York and Elliot v. City of New York.

The parties reached a settlement agreement on July 8, 2015. The court entered the stipulation and dismissed the case on July 23, 2015, retaining jurisdiction over the matter for the purpose of enforcing the agreement for an undisclosed amount of time.

The details of the settlement are not publicly available. According to The New York Times, the defendant paid a total of $332,500 in damages (between $52,000 to $60,000 to each plaintiff). Additionally, the New York Times reports that the NYPD released a statement saying that the NYPD has not altered its pepper spray guidelines. The case is now closed.

Maurice Youkanna - 05/27/2014
Sean Mulloy - 11/06/2017


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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
General
Aggressive behavior
Excessive force
Failure to discipline
Failure to supervise
Failure to train
Pattern or Practice
Pepper/OC spray
Restraints : chemical
Restraints : physical
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) City of New York
Plaintiff Description Resident of New York City arrested while participating in Occupy Wall Street movement
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Damages
Unknown
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Case Closing Year 2015
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing PN-NY-0035 : Crisp v. City of New York (S.D.N.Y.)
PN-NY-0043 : Elliot v. City of New York (S.D.N.Y.)
Additional Resources
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  New York City to Pay Up to $75 Million Over Dismissed Summonses
New York Times
Date: Jan. 23, 2017
By: Benjamin Weiser (New York Times)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Bravo v. Board of Commissioners of Dona Ana County
http://www.bazelon.org/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:12-cv-05843-RWS (S.D.N.Y.)
PN-NY-0034-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/23/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint and Demand for a Jury Trial [ECF# 1]
PN-NY-0034-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/31/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Protective Order [ECF# 19] (S.D.N.Y.)
PN-NY-0034-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/04/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation and Order of Dismissal [ECF# 31-1] (S.D.N.Y.)
PN-NY-0034-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/18/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Sweet, Robert Workman (S.D.N.Y.)
PN-NY-0034-0002 | PN-NY-0034-0003 | PN-NY-0034-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Moisan, Jane Leanne (New York)
PN-NY-0034-9000
Rankin, David Bruce (New York)
PN-NY-0034-0001 | PN-NY-0034-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Lapietra, Louis C. (New York)
PN-NY-0034-9000
Lucas, Andrew Joseph (New York)
PN-NY-0034-9000
Weiss, Dara Lynn (New York)
PN-NY-0034-9000

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