HAGA CLIC AQUÍ PARA UNA TRADUCCIÓN AL ESPAÑOL DEL ACUERDO

The New York Civil Liberties Union has posted notice of a proposed settlement in its class action lawsuit seeking to end unconstitutional stops, frisks and arrests as part of the NYPD’s trespass enforcement program, called “Operation Clean Halls” in the Bronx and the “Trespass Affidavit Program” in other boroughs.

There will be a PUBLIC HEARING in federal court to determine whether the settlement agreement is fair and reasonable. The hearing will be held on JUNE 6, 2017 at 10:30 am, in Courtroom 15D, in the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Courthouse, 500 Pearl St, NY, NY. If you have QUESTIONS, Please call 212-848-4958 or write to:

New York Civil Liberties Union
Attn: Trespass Affidavit Program Settlement
125 Broad Street, 19th Floor
New York, NY 10004

If you have OBJECTIONS to the settlement please send them to the below address, postmarked no later than June 1, 2017:

Clerk of the Court
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
500 Pearl Street
New York, N.Y. 10007
Attn: Ligon v. City of New York, 12-cv-2274 Settlement Comments

The New York Civil Liberties Union has posted notice of a proposed settlement in its class action lawsuit seeking to end unconstitutional stops, frisks and arrests as part of the NYPD’s trespass enforcement program, called “Operation Clean Halls” in the Bronx and the “Trespass Affidavit Program” in other boroughs.


IMPORTANT NOTICE TO RESIDENTS AND VISITORS OF TRESPASS AFFIDAVIT PROGRAM (“TAP” OR

“CLEAN HALLS”) BUILDINGS

ABOUT PROPOSED SETTLEMENT OF CLASS ACTION

AFFECTING POLICE POLICIES IN AND AROUND THESE BUILDINGS

            A proposed settlement has been reached in a federal civil-rights class-action lawsuit filed against the City of New York (“City”) and other defendants, entitled Ligon. v. City of New York (docket number 12-cv-2274). This lawsuit, filed in 2012 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, challenges the constitutionality of the New York City Police Department’s (“NYPD”) policies of stopping, questioning, frisking, searching, summonsing, and arresting people in or around buildings enrolled in the Trespass Affidavit Program (“TAP”).  Formerly known as the “Clean Halls Program” in some places, TAP is operated in thousands of private apartment buildings across all five boroughs of New York City.

            The City and the lawyers for the Plaintiffs have agreed to a settlement. As part of that settlement, the court will certify the following proposed class:

All individuals who have been or are at risk of being stopped, frisked, arrested, searched, or issued a summons inside or outdoors within the vicinity of apartment buildings enrolled in a Trespass Affidavit Program—defined as any program through which NYPD officers gain permission to patrol in and around privately-owned residential apartment buildings for the purpose of combating criminal activity—without legal justification by NYPD officers on suspicion of trespassing in said buildings.

If you are a resident of or a visitor to a TAP building in New York City, then you are a member of this class. TAP buildings should be identified by a sign in the lobby and/or outside the building. If you are unsure whether your building is enrolled in the TAP program, you can inquire about the status of your building by contacting your local precinct.

The settlement will change how NYPD officers conduct themselves in and around TAP buildings.  The City has agreed to change the policies around (i) stopping, questioning, and frisking people on suspicion of trespass, (ii) arresting people on suspicion of trespass, and (iii) enrolling buildings in the TAP program. The City will also make changes to the supervision, training, and discipline of officers who police in and around TAP buildings. The City has agreed to be monitored by the Plaintiffs’ lawyers and by an independent, court-appointed monitor.  Both the City and the Plaintiffs believe that the settlement is fair. 

THIS CASE DID NOT SEEK MONEY DAMAGES FOR MEMBERS OF THE CLASS EXCEPT FOR THE THIRTEEN LEAD PLAINTIFFS (KNOWN AS “NAMED PLAINTIFFS”), WHO ACTIVELY PARTICIPATED IN THE LITIGATION. THE SETTLEMENT WILL NOT AFFECT THE RIGHT OF ANY CLASS MEMBER WHO IS NOT A NAMED PLAINTIFF TO SEEK DAMAGES FOR SIMILAR CLAIMS. The settlement does not address the cases of any specific individuals except for the thirteen Named Plaintiffs, and attorneys for the class cannot offer an opinion about your ability to pursue a claim for money damages against the City or an individual member of the NYPD.

            This case is related to Floyd, et al. v. City of New York, et al. and Davis, et al., v. City of New York, et al, two other class actions that challenged NYPD policies. The parties in all three cases (Ligon, Floyd, and Davis) are now engaged in a remedial process with the NYPD and have already developed a series of reforms. You can read more about that process at http://nypdmonitor.org/.

This notice explains the proposed settlement agreement, how you can obtain a copy of it, and how you can tell the Court whether you think it is fair. The settlement agreement is long and its language is complex. Set forth below is a summary of the key terms of the settlement agreement. A copy of the settlement agreement and the relevant attachments are available online at www.nyclu.org/cleanhalls.

The key terms of the settlement agreement require the City to do the following:

1.     The NYPD shall  develop, adopt and implement the following standards (which are also set forth in the NYPD Patrol Guide section 212-59) regarding enforcement activities in and around TAP Buildings:

a.     Officers shall obey state and federal law that requires them to have an “objective credible reason” to approach a person to ask questions and a “reasonable suspicion of criminal activity” to temporarily detain a person.

b.     The following circumstances, or any combination thereof, are not enough to establish “reasonable suspicion”:
i.     a person’s mere presence in or near, entry into, or exit out of a TAP Building,  
ii.    a person’s silence or refusal to provide information or identification when questioned by the police, or
iii.    a person’s passing through a door of a TAP Building that has a broken lock or that has been propped open.

c.     Officers shall not conduct a frisk of a person encountered in or around a TAP Building unless the officer reasonably suspects that the person encountered is armed and dangerous and such frisk extends no further than is necessary for the discovery of the suspected weapon(s)

2.     Officers must document every stop and frisk of a person inside or near a TAP building.

3.     Officers must have probable cause and should conduct a reasonable investigation to establish probable cause before arresting or issuing a summons to an individual for trespassing in a TAP building.

4.     The City has agreed that every time a person is arrested for trespass inside or near a TAP building, the arresting officer will fill out a form called the Trespass Crimes Fact Sheet that describes the basis for the arrest.

5.     The City has agreed to train all recruits, current police officers, sergeants, and other supervisors on the law and rules around policing inside and near TAP buildings to ensure that they understand how to protect the constitutional rights of the class members.

6.     The City has agreed to change the policy that governs the administration of the TAP program in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island.

a.     The NYPD will no longer initially enroll an apartment building unless:
i.     there have been recent incidents, including but not limited to, criminal activity and/or complaints at or near the building in the last 12 months and
ii.     the building owner or managing agent posts signs notifying tenants and their guests that the building is enrolled in the program.

b.     Every six months the building’s enrollment will be reviewed by the NYPD for possible renewal.

7.     The City consents to have a court-appointed monitor oversee the development of reforms to training, supervision, auditing, monitoring, and discipline of officers, regarding stops and arrests made on suspicion of trespassing in TAP Buildings, summonses issued on suspicion of trespassing in TAP Buildings, and compliance with procedures and standards for administering TAP. The monitor will oversee the NYPD for at least three years, followed by continued phase of monitoring by the attorneys for the class.

8.     The City agrees to provide data and documents to the monitor and attorneys for the class to facilitate the monitoring of the NYPD.

The City has also agreed to pay $235,000 in damages to the thirteen named plaintiffs. Finally, it has agreed to pay $2,640,533 in attorneys’ fees and costs to the lawyers representing the class, who have spent thousands of hours working on the case. Because this is a civil-rights case, the lawyers would have been entitled to an award of legal fees if the case had been won after a trial, and none of the fees or costs being paid by the City are coming out of damages being paid to the named plaintiffs.

            The federal judge in this case, the Honorable Analisa Torres, will hold a hearing to determine whether the settlement agreement is fair and reasonable on __________________, 2017, at _______ in Courtroom 15D, at the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Courthouse, 500 Pearl Street, New York, New York.

            Class members can write to the Court about the settlement’s fairness. Comments MUST include the name of this case, Ligon v. City of New York, and the docket number 12-cv-2274, at the top of the first page. Please note that the Court can only approve or deny the settlement; it cannot change the terms of the settlement agreement.  Comments must be postmarked no later than ___________.  They can be sent to the following address:

Clerk of the Court
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
500 Pearl Street
New York, N.Y. 10007
Attn: Ligon v. City of New York, 12-cv-2274 Settlement Comments

            If you have any questions about the case or want more information, you may contact the lawyers for the class by calling 212-848-4958 or by writing to the following address:

New York Civil Liberties Union
Attn: Trespass Affidavit Program Settlement
125 Broad Street, 19th Floor
New York, NY 10004

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