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Shearman & Sterling and Co-Counsel Enter Into Settlement Agreement With New York City Regarding ‘Stop and Frisk’ Practices

2 Feb 2017

Shearman & Sterling, together with co-counsel the New York Civil Liberties Union, The Bronx Defenders, Latino Justice PRLDEF, and New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, have entered into a settlement agreement with the City of New York to resolve Ligon v. City of New York, 12-cv-2274 (S.D.N.Y.), a federal class action challenging the constitutionality of aspects of the New York Police Department’s “stop and frisk” practices. In this pro bono matter, the firm and co-counsel represented residents and guests who allege that the NYPD officers stopped, searched or arrested them in violation of the Fourth Amendment and the Fair Housing Act in and around private apartment buildings enrolled in a program called the Trespass Affidavit Program (TAP).

In 2012, Shearman & Sterling participated in filing a preliminary injunction.  After a seven-day hearing, the court ruled that the New York City Police Department’s stop and frisk practices outside of TAP buildings violated the Fourth Amendment. On August 12, 2013, the court issued an order in Ligon and one of the related actions (Floyd) laying out the remedies required to address these constitutional violations. 

After additional litigation, the parties recently agreed to enter into a comprehensive settlement that resolves all of the issues in the case.  The settlement requires the City to modify its policies for policing in and around TAP buildings, enhance training and supervision, implement a review system and engage in continued monitoring related to these reforms.  In addition, the settlement provides $230,000 in damages to individual plaintiffs impacted by the NYPD’s policing practices in and around TAP buildings. On February 2, 2017, the parties filed a motion asking the court to preliminarily approve the settlement and set a date for a final fairness hearing. 

The Shearman & Sterling team working on this matter includes partners John Nathanson and Jeff Resetarits (both New York-Litigation); and associates Michael Grunfeld, Stephen Kam, Nicole Gragg (all New York-Litigation), Christopher Glenn (New York-Mergers & Acquisitions) and Laura Caldwell (New York-Litigation). 

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