United States District Court, S.D. New York
April 28, 2015
KELTON DAVIS, WILLIAM TURNER, EDWIN LARREGUI, ANTHONY ANDERSON, SHAWNE JONES, HECTOR SUAREZ, ADAM COOPER, DAVID WILSON, GENEVA WILSON, ELEANOR BRITT, ROMAN JACKSON, KRISTIN JOHNSON, LASHAUN SMITH, ANDREW WASHINGTON, PA TRICK LITTLEJOHN, RAYMOND OSORIO, VAUGHN FREDERICK, and R.E., by her parent D.E., individually and on behalf of a class of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
THE CITY OF NEW YORK and NEW YORK CITY HOUSING AUTHORITY, Defendants.
Elana R. Beale, Esq., Erin E. Elmouji, Esq., Jason L. Meizlish, Esq., Julia Tarver-Mason Wood, Esq., Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, New York, New York, Christina Swarns, Esq., Jin Hee Lee, Esq., Rachel M. Kleinman, Esq., NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc., New York, New York, William Gibney, Esq., Marlen S. Bodden, Esq., Amanda C. Moretti, Esq., The Legal Aid Society, New York, New York, for Plaintiffs.
Judson K. Vickers, Lisa M. Richardson, Linda Donahue, Assistant Corporation Counsel New York City Law Department, New York, New York, for Defendant City of New York.
Donna M. Murphy, Esq., New York City Housing Authority, New York, New York, for Defendant NY CHA.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
SHIRA A. SCHEINDLIN, District Judge.
This short Memorandum Opinion and Order accompanies the Final Order of Approval of Settlement and Dismissal with Prejudice filed together with this Order. I write solely to note that I am ordering the transfer of this case to Judge Analisa Torres - at the request of all parties - because this case is undoubtedly related to two other cases now pending before her - Floyd v. City of New York, and Ligon v. City of New York .
A brief history is in order. Daniels v. City of New York was filed in 1999. That case resulted in the entry of a Stipulation of Settlement, in which the City agreed to maintain a written anti-racial profiling policy that complies with the U.S. and New York State Constitutions, to audit officers who engage in stop and frisks, and to provide the results of these audits to plaintiffs' attorneys. This Court retained jurisdiction over the performance of the Stipulation for four years. Near the end of that period, the Daniels plaintiffs alleged that the City was not complying with the Stipulation. Their complaint could have been heard as a contempt proceeding or as a new and related lawsuit challenging the City's compliance with this Court's order in Daniels. The latter course was chosen and Floyd was filed in 2008. Davis was filed two years later in 2010,  and Ligon two years after that in 2012. All three cases challenged the City's allegedly unconstitutional implementation of stop and frisk policies by the New York City Police Department. Floyd and Ligon were resolved after a trial and a preliminary injunction hearing respectively, in which certain remedies were ordered. These remedies are now known as the "Joint Remedial Process." The City initially appealed those judgments. While the appeals were pending the Court of Appeals ordered the cases reassigned to a new judge. While the appeals were pending the Court of Appeals that the cases were improperly accepted as related to Daniels,  it nonetheless reassigned the two cases in tandem. The City announced its intent to withdraw its appeals when a new administration took office in January 2014. When the withdrawal of the appeals was finalized, the Joint Remedial Process began.
Now that the Davis case has been settled, and this Court has found that the settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate, the parties have jointly requested that the Davis case be transferred to Judge Torres as it is related to Floyd and Ligon and all parties believe that the three related cases should be part of one remedial process. I, too, believe that there should be one remedial process as the cases all challenged the same conduct and the remedies imposed by this Court will benefit the plaintiffs in all three cases.
I am transferring the Davis case with regret as it would have been most appropriate for the judge that supervised this case - and the related cases - for more than five years to supervise the implementation of the remedies imposed by the Court or agreed to by the parties. Nonetheless, I do so because it is most important that the parties work together in one Joint Remedial Process to repair the damage that was done during the years that the defendants in these cases violated the plaintiffs' constitutional rights. The Joint Remedial Process is underway and like all New Yorkers I have the highest hopes for its success.