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Gaddy v. City of New York

United States District Court, Second Circuit

November 18, 2013

SHARIA GADDY, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
THE CITY OF NEW YORK, et al., Defendants.

REPORT & RECOMMENDATION

MICHAEL H. DOLINGER, Magistrate Judge.

Based on our review of the verified complaint, the proposed stipulation of settlement, the affirmation of counsel, the affidavits of the legal guardians of the six infant plaintiffs, and the representations of counsel made on the record during our November 12, 2013 conference (see transcript attached) and on our findings on the same record (see id. at 9), we recommend that the settlement agreement be approved.

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C) and Rule 72 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the parties shall have fourteen (14) days from this date to file written objections to this Report and Recommendation. Such objections shall be filed with the Clerk of the Court and served on all adversaries, with extra copies to be delivered to the chambers of the Honorable Shira A. Scheindlin, Room 1620, and to the chambers of the undersigned, Room 1670, 500 Pearl Street, New York, New York, 10007. Failure to file timely objections may constitute a waiver of those objections both in the District Court and on later appeal to the United States Court of Appeals. See Thomas v. Arn , 474 U.S. 140, 150 (1985); Small v. Sec'y of Health and Human Servs. , 892 F.2d 15, 16 (2d Cir. 1989); 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72, 6(a), 6(d).

THE COURT: I have been asked to review what has been represented to be an agreement, albeit unsigned by the parties, to settle the case. The review is necessitated, as.I understand it, by the fact that the plaintiffs, either some or all, are not of majority age and thus court approval has to be obtained.

I have received a document labeled a stipulation of settlement, which bears a signature of plaintiffs' counsel but no one else, and a variety of other papers including an attorney affirmation by plaintiffs' counsel, which is a bit skeletal to say the least, and then affidavits of guardians and a proposed infant compromise order.

Let me first of all ask what is the nature of the claims in the case, what steps were taken to litigate the case, what are the considerations that drove the settlement, and what are the terms of the settlement that you're proposing that the Court approve?

MR. HOFFNER: Well, if I may, your Honor, I apologize to the extent that the affirmation by myself is not sufficient. But I would certainly be able to articulate the full terms of the settlement.

I do believe that you should be familiar with the case in the sense we did have a settlement conference where, if you recall, about 15 individuals, maybe 20 of them came in. This was a multiple arrest: 13 plaintiffs - seven adults, six infants. Initially there was seven infants but one of the infants is now of majority. And although at that point - and I forget how many months ago it was. It was probably in March or April we came before your Honor, and at that point the City of New York had offered -

THE COURT: It was July 9.

MR. HOFFNER: July. Thank you. They had offered 35, 000 in a global settlement of this case.

And just to give you the background, this is an incident that occurred in the Bronx in which the police officers initially stopped a bunch of young kids, 12-, 13-, 14-year-olds who live in the area. It's a Saturday afternoon. And there was an accusation that somebody had thrown either a bottle - it changed a variety of times, whether it was bottles off the roof, flower pot, eggs - those are the variety of things that were alleged to have been thrown.

And some family members upon seeing the detention of the young children started to get upset, called the parents over. The parents came down. This thing just got completely out of hand where not only did they arrest the children, but they ended up arresting a bunch of the parents and other siblings of some of the initial kids that were stopped.

The reason that I believe the settlement is fair is that, first of all, they had originally offered 35, 000 total. Ultimately, for 13 plaintiffs, they came up to ...


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