University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Argyros v. City of New York PN-NY-0038
Docket / Court 1:13-cv-02946-SLT-RML ( E.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Policing
Case Summary
On August 7, 2013, several residents of New York City filed this class action in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The plaintiffs sued the City of New York under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for Fourth Amendment Constitutional violations. The plaintiffs, represented by private ... read more >
On August 7, 2013, several residents of New York City filed this class action in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The plaintiffs sued the City of New York under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for Fourth Amendment Constitutional violations. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, sought declaratory and injunctive relief in addition to compensatory and punitive damages and attorneys' fees.

Specifically, the 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 U.S. Constitution and other state laws. Operation Lucky Bag involved NYPD officers leaving bags containing valuable items unattended and in plain sight. The officers waited for individuals to pick up the bag or valuable item and then arrest those individuals under the assumption that they intended to keep the items. The plaintiffs alleged that these incidents represented arrest without probable cause in violation of their right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.

On December 24, 2013, the City filed a motion to dismiss alleging that the plaintiffs failed to state a claim in their complaint. They raised that the officers would be protected by qualified immunity and, in the alternative, the municipality would not be liable under Monell without proof of an official pattern or practice. The plaintiffs pursued court-supervised discovery to prove that Operation Lucky Bag was an official custom within the department.

Meanwhile, settlement discussions ensued such that the court never ruled on the motion to dismiss. On September 16, 2014, the parties entered a settlement agreement. In the agreement, the 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 defendants further agreed to train NYPD officers on these criteria and report to the plaintiffs' counsel on compliance while subject to the District Court's jurisdiction for one year. In addition, the defendants agreed to pay the named plaintiffs $50,000 and to pay all attorneys' fees and costs associated with the action (it is unclear from the docket how much the defendants paid in attorneys' fees and costs). In return, the plaintiffs released the defendants from all liability arising from the facts of the lawsuit.

The case is now closed.

Brendan Brown - 10/14/2014
Eva Richardson - 12/01/2018


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Unreasonable search and seizure
Content of Injunction
Auditing
Monitoring
Recordkeeping
Reporting
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Law-enforcement
General
Failure to supervise
Failure to train
False arrest
Over/Unlawful Detention
Pattern or Practice
Search policies
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
State law
Defendant(s) City of New York
Plaintiff Description New York City residents arrested pursuant to "Operation Lucky Bag" sting operations
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration 2014 - 2015
Filing Year 2013
Case Closing Year 2015
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
1:13-cv-02946-SLT-RML (E.D.N.Y.)
PN-NY-0038-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/07/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Amended Complaint [ECF# 8]
PN-NY-0038-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/07/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation of Settlement [ECF# 36]
PN-NY-0038-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/16/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Levy, Robert M. (E.D.N.Y.) [Magistrate]
PN-NY-0038-9000
Townes, Sandra L. (E.D.N.Y.)
PN-NY-0038-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Parlatore, Timothy C (New York)
PN-NY-0038-0001 | PN-NY-0038-0002 | PN-NY-0038-9000
Sash, Alan Edward (New York)
PN-NY-0038-0001 | PN-NY-0038-0002 | PN-NY-0038-9000
Siegel, Norman H. (New York)
PN-NY-0038-0001 | PN-NY-0038-0002 | PN-NY-0038-9000
Sprayregen, Sharon (New York)
PN-NY-0038-0001 | PN-NY-0038-0002 | PN-NY-0038-9000
Teitelbaum, Herbert (New York)
PN-NY-0038-0001 | PN-NY-0038-0002 | PN-NY-0038-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Lucas, Andrew Joseph (New York)
PN-NY-0038-9000
Weiss, Dara Lynn (New York)
PN-NY-0038-0002 | PN-NY-0038-9000

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -