Stop-and-Frisk Cases to Return to Lower Court

, New York Law Journal

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Over the opposition of police unions, the new city administration's request for remand of stop-and-frisk litigation against the New York Police Department to settle the cases was granted Friday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Judges John Walker, Jose Cabranes and Barrington Parker granted the motion by the Law Department to return Floyd v. City of New York and Ligon v. City of New York to the Southern District, where Judge Analisa Torres will preside over settlement talks.

By per curiam opinion, the panel that stayed Judge Shira Scheindlin's liability rulings against the New York City Police Department and her appointment of a monitor in October and removed her from the case shelved two motions by five police unions to intervene.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Corporation Counsel Zachary Carter announced in January they would drop the prior administration's appeal and pursue a remand to settle on terms that would include a court-appointed monitor for three years.

The police unions, who had sought intervention in September, had asked the Second Circuit to keep the case, saying Scheindlin's rulings impaired their ability to police the city and compromised their rights under collective bargaining agreements.

Friday, the panel said it had the authority to grant intervention, but the district court was better for it "particularly because the appropriateness of intervention and the form it takes could well bear on settlement negotiations."

"Moreover, the District Court is better positioned to deal with the complexities that might arise during multi-faceted settlement negotiations in which a variety of interests must be accommodated," the panel said, and it stayed all filings before it in Floyd, 13-3088, and Ligon, 13-3123, pending the outcome of the 45-day remand to Torres.

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