A federal judge has stayed, pending appeal, her ruling directing the New York City Police Department to halt suspicionless stops for trespass of people at Bronx buildings whose owners have enlisted in a patrol program. Southern District Judge Shira Scheindlin (See Profile) on Jan. 8 held in the putative class action Ligon v. City of New York, 12 civ. 2274, that officers are violating the Fourth Amendment rights of residents and visitors in buildings that take part in the NYPD's Trespass Affidavit Program (NYLJ Jan. 9). She issued an injunction against the practice but postponed ordering relief, deciding instead to consolidate consideration of relief pending a March trial in a class action alleging widespread violations of the Fourth Amendment in stop-and-frisk policies on city streets in Floyd v. City of New York, 08 Civ. 1034.
Yesterday, Scheindlin denied the city's request for a postponement of trial in Floyd, which is scheduled to begin March 11. In an opinion and order, Scheindlin doubted the city would prevail in Ligon before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and, in any event, said she understood her "brief" stay in Ligon moots the city's appeal. Nonetheless, the judge said she was "now persuaded that the immediate relief" she ordered (the cessation of all unconstitutional trespass stops) could not be "effectively implemented without the sort of significant steps" she also proposed as potential relief regarding training, training materials and oversight in her Jan. 8 ruling. Scheindlin also said she was aware that "administrative inefficiencies may result from ordering certain remedies now and potentially ordering different remedies" after the consolidated remedies hearing.