University of Michigan Law School
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Case Name R.C. v. City of New York PN-NY-0048
Docket / Court 153739/2018 ( State Court )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Criminal Justice (Other)
Policing
Attorney Organization Bronx Defenders
Case Summary
Under New York law, records must be sealed from cases where the prosecutor declined to pursue charges, the charges were later dismissed, or the allegations were disproven in court. On April 24, 2018, three plaintiffs brought a class action suit against the city of New York and New York City Police ... read more >
Under New York law, records must be sealed from cases where the prosecutor declined to pursue charges, the charges were later dismissed, or the allegations were disproven in court. On April 24, 2018, three plaintiffs brought a class action suit against the city of New York and New York City Police Department Commissioner challenging the use of the sealed records. The plaintiffs alleged that New York Police Department (NYPD) policy and practice allowed the use of information from records of arrest that did not result in criminal convictions to target predominantly Black and Latino people for investigation, arrest, and harsher penalties. They alleged that this practice violated New York law and due process under the New York state constitution. Represented by private counsel and the Bronx Defender Services, the plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief requiring the NYPD to implement protocols, trainings and safeguards to prohibit the improper access, use, or disclosure of sealed records. They also sought damages and attorneys’ fees and costs.

The defendants sought to dismiss the case and, on April 30, 2019, Judge Alexander M. Tisch granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss in part and denied the motion in part. The judge agreed with the defendants that based on precedent the plaintiffs failed to state a due process claim. Judge Tisch reasoned that the state’s establishment of procedures to be followed does not automatically imply that the state created a liberty interest that would allow plaintiffs to sue under a due process claim. However, the judge upheld the sufficiency of plaintiffs' causes of action under New York law.

On September 5, 2019, Judge Tisch granted the plaintiffs class action certification. The class was certified as “all those who have sealed records and who have been or may be aggrieved by the NYPD's policies and practices.” The judge agreed with the plaintiffs that there are likely tens of thousands of individuals who would be impacted by this case based on the number of arrests in recent years.

As of February 2020, discovery in this case is ongoing.

Richa Bijlani - 02/19/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
General
Record-keeping
Records Disclosure
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) City of New York
New York City Police Department Commissioner
Plaintiff Description All those who have sealed records and who have been or may be aggrieved by the New York Police Department's policies and practices.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Bronx Defenders
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 2018
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
0153739/2018 (State Supreme Court)
PN-NY-0048-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/24/2020
Source: State Court Website
General Documents
Class Action Complaint
PN-NY-0048-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/24/2018
Source: State Court Website
Decision and Order
PN-NY-0048-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/30/2019
Source: Supreme Court website
Decision + Order on Motion
PN-NY-0048-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/05/2019
Source: State Court Website
show all people docs
Judges Frank, Lyle E. Court not on record show/hide docs
PN-NY-0048-0003 | PN-NY-0048-9000
Tisch, Alexander M. Court not on record show/hide docs
PN-NY-0048-0002
Plaintiff's Lawyers Barbour, Sharon L. (New York) show/hide docs
PN-NY-0048-0001
Boettcher, Eric (New York) show/hide docs
PN-NY-0048-0001
Borchetta, Jennifer Rolnick (New York) show/hide docs
PN-NY-0048-0001
Cinnamon, Michael (New York) show/hide docs
PN-NY-0048-0001
Forneret, Martine B. (New York) show/hide docs
PN-NY-0048-0001
Jain, Niji (New York) show/hide docs
PN-NY-0048-0001
Kolodner, Jonathan Samuel (New York) show/hide docs
PN-NY-0048-0001
Lee, Annette (New York) show/hide docs
PN-NY-0048-0001
Pal, Pekham (New York) show/hide docs
PN-NY-0048-0001
Rahman, Shakeer (New York) show/hide docs
PN-NY-0048-0001
Steinberg, Johanna B. (New York) show/hide docs
PN-NY-0048-0001
Theobald, Alexandra K. (New York) show/hide docs
PN-NY-0048-0001

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