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Preliminary Settlement Reached in Lawsuit Challenging Police Practices in NYC Public Housing

As reported in The New York Times, the New York Law Journal and on NY1, a preliminary settlement agreement was reached on January 7 to end the New York City Police Department's improper and unlawful enforcement of criminal trespass laws in public housing. This settlement will resolve Davis et al. v. City of New York et al., 10 Civ. 0699, a five-year-old federal class-action lawsuit brought by individual residents and guests of New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) residences on behalf of a plaintiff class that challenged the NYPD's unlawful policy and practice of routinely stopping and arresting NYCHA residents and guests without reasonable suspicion or probable cause of illegal conduct in a racially discriminatory manner.

The settlement revises the NYPD Patrol Guide on vertical (or interior) patrols in NYC public housing and the related NYPD training materials regarding vertical patrols and enforcement of NYCHA rules, imposes a documentation requirement for all trespass arrests in NYC public housing, and modifies certain NYCHA rules concerning residents' cooperation with police and the prohibited activity of "lingering."

Subject to final approval by Judge Shira Scheindlin of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, the Davis case will become part of the court monitoring process that was ordered in the lawsuit that successfully challenged the NYPD's stop-and-frisk policies (Floyd v. City of New York). Community stakeholders, including public housing residents, will have input in the structuring of these reforms.

The Paul, Weiss team included, among others, litigation partners Michele Hirshman, Daniel Leffell and Leslie Fagen and associates Elana Beale, Jeremy Benjamin, Erin Elmouji, Agnetha Jacob, Rebecca Matte, Jason Meizlish, Angela Shannon and James Stanley.

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