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ADAMS v. CITY OF NEW YORK

March 31, 2003

ERIC ADAMS, NOEL LEADER, KASUN JENKINS, VERNON WELLS, JOEL OTTLEY, MARK CLARKSON AND JULIAN HARPER, INDIVIDUALLY, AND ON BEHALF OF 100 BLACK MEN IN LAW ENFORCEMENT WHO CARE, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
THE CITY OF NEW YORK AND JOHN DOE NOS. 1 THROUGH 10 (IDENTITIES UNKNOWN TO PLAINTIFFS BUT INTENDED TO DESCRIBE THOSE INDIVIDUALS EMPLOYED BY THE CITY OF NEW YORK WHO PARTICIPATED IN THE ACTIONS COMPLAINED OF IN THIS ACTION), AND VERIZON NEW YORK, INC. F/K/A BELL ATLANTIC NYNEX, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Thomas P. Griesa, United States District Judge

OPINION

This is an action alleging violation of civil rights. The complaint alleges that the individual plaintiffs were, at the relevant times, police officers and other law enforcement officers employed by the City of New York, and that 100 BLACK MEN IN LAW ENFORCEMENT WHO CARE ("100 BLACKS"), is an umbrella organization to which the individual plaintiffs belonged. It is said that the organization serves as a forum for addressing the concerns of Black law enforcement officers. The suit is brought against The City of New York and Verizon New York Inc. Also named as defendants are numerous John Does, who are said to be employees of the City who participated in the unlawful activities.

The City has answered with a detailed set of allegations supported by documents attached to the answer as exhibits.

The City moves for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c). Verizon moves under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) to dismiss the complaint as against it for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

Both motions are granted and the action is dismissed.

The Complaint

The complaint alleges that beginning in or about August 1998 the City, through the Internal Affairs Bureau of the New York Police Department, unlawfully began to investigate the activities of 100 BLACKS. It is alleged that this investigation was unlawful and that 100 BLACKS, and the individual plaintiffs as members thereof, were doing nothing but engaging in their rights to associate and assemble. The complaint alleges that, in connection with the unlawful investigation, the City sought from Verizon, without any court order or lawful warrant, records and information relating to the telephone lines of plaintiffs. It is alleged that Verizon, without notice to plaintiffs or the consent of plaintiffs, and in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2703, unlawfully provided the City with such information. The complaint avers that, with the assistance of Verizon, the City conducted wiretaps of plaintiffs' telephone lines. Plaintiffs claim that the investigative activity was carried on against them, and not against other organizations within the NYPD whose members are white. It is alleged that, among the reasons for the illegality of this activity, it was in violation of a Stipulation of Settlement in the "Handschu Decision" handed down by this Court.

There are eight counts in the complaint.

Count Allegation

1 Violation of Equal Protection Rights

2 Violation of Fourth Amendment Rights

3 Violation of Fifth Amendment Rights

4 Employment Discrimination in Violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981
5 Discrimination in Violation of N.Y. ...

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