On August 7, 2013, several residents of New York City filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York against the City of New York under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, sought declaratory and injunctive relief in addition ...
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On August 7, 2013, several residents of New York City filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York against the City of New York under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, sought declaratory and injunctive relief in addition to compensatory and punitive damages and attorneys' fees.
Specifically, plaintiffs alleged that the New York Police Department ("NYPD") operation known as "Operation Lucky Bag" resulted in systematic unreasonable search and seizure in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, as well as other state law violations. Operation Lucky Bag involved NYPD officers leaving bags containing valuable items unattended and in plain sight and waiting for individuals to pick up the bag or valuable item and then arresting those individuals under the assumption that they intended to keep the items. Plaintiffs alleged that these incidents represented arrest without probable cause in violation of their right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.
On September 16, 2014, the parties entered a settlement agreement. In the agreement defendants agreed to amend Operation Lucky Bag so that arrests would only be made in the following instances: (i) when the valuables are separated from the other property and that remaining property is discarded, (ii) where property is removed from someone else's belongings, or (iii) an individual, having taken property and been confronted by a police officer, lies about having taken the property. The defendant further agreed to train NYPD officers on these criteria and report to plaintiffs' counsel on the progress in complying with the criteria while remaining subject to the District Court's jurisdiction for one year. In addition, defendant agreed to pay named plaintiffs $50,000 and to pay all attorneys' fees and costs associated with the action. In return plaintiffs released defendants from all liability arising from the facts of the lawsuit.Brendan Brown - 10/14/2014