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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Payne v. de Blasio PN-NY-0057
Docket / Court 1:20-cv-08924 ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Policing
Special Collection Police Violence Protests (Spring/Summer 2020)
Attorney Organization Legal Services/Legal Aid
New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU)
Case Summary
This suit was filed by eleven New York residents against the City of New York and the New York City Police Department on October 26, 2020 in the Southern District of New York. The plaintiffs sued under 42 U.S.C § 1983 alleging excessive force and unlawful seizure in violation of the Fourth ... read more >
This suit was filed by eleven New York residents against the City of New York and the New York City Police Department on October 26, 2020 in the Southern District of New York. The plaintiffs sued under 42 U.S.C § 1983 alleging excessive force and unlawful seizure in violation of the Fourth Amendment, as well as retaliation for the exercise of First Amendment rights. The plaintiffs also brought claims under the New York State Constitution on the same facts. The complaint sought declaratory relief, compensatory and punitive damages, attorneys’ fees and costs, and any other relief the Court deemed just and proper.

The complaint alleged that NYPD officers, with the approval of their supervisors, regularly used excessive force against and falsely arrested peaceful protesters during the widespread racial justice protests that took place in the summer of 2020. Two of the plaintiffs attended protests as journalists and one as a medic. The complaint specifically alleged that on different occasions, officers responded to the plaintiffs’ peaceful participation in the protests with violence, including: striking plaintiffs repeatedly with batons; tackling plaintiffs to the ground and pinning them with their bodies; indiscriminately pepper spraying plaintiffs; threatening plaintiffs with tasers; punching and kicking plaintiffs; tightly zip-tying or handcuffing plaintiffs’ wrists for extended periods of time, causing significant pain; and kettling plaintiffs to prevent their compliance with curfew. According to the complaint, the actions taken by officers resulted in lacerations, fractures, nerve damage, bruising, abrasions, head injuries, debilitating pain, and emotional distress to the plaintiffs and other protesters. In addition, the complaint alleged that several of the plaintiffs were arrested and held without cause in unclean, overcrowded cells, without any medical assistance to treat their injuries. Plaintiffs further alleged that, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, police officers responding to protests frequently failed to wear masks or to assist detained protesters in covering their noses and mouths, exposing protesters to a heightened risk of contracting COVID-19. One plaintiff also alleged that NYPD officers intentionally humiliated the plaintiff by repeatedly misgendering them.

The case was assigned to Judge Colleen McMahon. In January 2021, Judge McMahon consolidated this case with three later-filed police conduct cases (People of New York v. New York, Sow v. City of New York, and Wood v. De Blasio) for pre-trial purposes. On February 4, 2021, the case was referred to Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein. In early March, the Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York and the Detectives Endowment Association of New York City moved to intervene in the case. Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on March 5, adding a request for injunctive relief ordering the defendants to take appropriate steps to refrain from using the unconstitutional policies and practices alleged in the complaint. As of March 16, 2021, the case remains pending in the District Court.

Rachel Harrington - 03/16/2021
Rachel Harrington - 04/15/2021


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Freedom of speech/association
Unreasonable search and seizure
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Law-enforcement
General
Excessive force
Failure to discipline
Failure to supervise
Failure to train
False arrest
Over/Unlawful Detention
Pattern or Practice
Pepper/OC spray
Restraints : physical
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
State law
Defendant(s) City of New York
Plaintiff Description A group of eleven New York City residents who alleged that NYPD officers used excessive force against them and falsely arrested them in violation of both the United States and New York State Constitutions during the 2020 protests against systemic racism and police violence.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Legal Services/Legal Aid
New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU)
Class action status sought No
Class action status outcome Not sought
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 10/26/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing PN-NY-0054 : People of New York v. New York (S.D.N.Y.)
PN-NY-0058 : Wood v. De Blasio (S.D.N.Y.)
PN-NY-0059 : Sow v. City of New York (S.D.N.Y.)
Additional Resources
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  Payne et al. v De Blasio et al.
New York Civil Liberties Union
Date: Oct. 26, 2020
By: New York Civil Liberties Union
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Court Docket(s)
S.D.N.Y.
03/10/2021
1:20-cv-08924-CM
PN-NY-0057-9001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
S.D.N.Y.
10/26/2020
Complaint and Demand for Jury Trial [ECF# 1]
PN-NY-0057-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D.N.Y.
03/05/2021
First Amended Complaint and Demand for Jury Trial [ECF# 54]
PN-NY-0057-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
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Judges Gorenstein, Gabriel W. (S.D.N.Y.) [Magistrate] show/hide docs
PN-NY-0057-9001
McMahon, Colleen (S.D.N.Y.) show/hide docs
PN-NY-0057-9001
Plaintiff's Lawyers Adams, Katherine (New York) show/hide docs
PN-NY-0057-9001
Arena, Marc (New York) show/hide docs
PN-NY-0057-9001
Azizi, Deema (New York) show/hide docs
PN-NY-0057-9001
Biklen, Molly Knopp (New York) show/hide docs
PN-NY-0057-0001 | PN-NY-0057-0002 | PN-NY-0057-9001
Clark, Jason Myles (New York) show/hide docs
PN-NY-0057-9001
Clarke, Lance A (New York) show/hide docs
PN-NY-0057-9001
Clarke, Jessica (New York) show/hide docs
PN-NY-0057-9001
Cohen, Elena L (New York) show/hide docs
PN-NY-0057-9001
Droubi, Luna (New York) show/hide docs
PN-NY-0057-9001
Dunn, Christopher (New York) show/hide docs
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England, Travis William (New York) show/hide docs
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Fajana, Morenike (New York) show/hide docs
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Green, J Remy (New York) show/hide docs
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Grodin, Jaclyn Hillary (New York) show/hide docs
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Lambright, Daniel Ross (New York) show/hide docs
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Laplace, Lisa J. (New York) show/hide docs
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Levitz, Phillip J (New York) show/hide docs
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Lieb, Douglas E. (New York) show/hide docs
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Lord, Masai (New York) show/hide docs
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Marquez, Lillian (New York) show/hide docs
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Massimi, Jessica (New York) show/hide docs
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Moore, Jonathan C. (New York) show/hide docs
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Morril, Gregory (New York) show/hide docs
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Moskovitz, Joshua Samuel (New York) show/hide docs
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Oliver, Gideon Orion (New York) show/hide docs
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Pattiz, Rebecca Leigh (New York) show/hide docs
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Perry, Jessica (New York) show/hide docs
PN-NY-0057-0001 | PN-NY-0057-0002 | PN-NY-0057-9001
Powers, Regina (New York) show/hide docs
PN-NY-0057-9001
Rankin, David Bruce (New York) show/hide docs
PN-NY-0057-9001
Spiegel, Michael L (New York) show/hide docs
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Stecklow, Wylie M (New York) show/hide docs
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Stoll, Andrew B. (New York) show/hide docs
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Stoughton, Corey (New York) show/hide docs
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Wong, Jennvine (New York) show/hide docs
PN-NY-0057-0001 | PN-NY-0057-0002 | PN-NY-0057-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Dolan, Richard Henry (New York) show/hide docs
PN-NY-0057-9001
Goykadosh, Brachah (New York) show/hide docs
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Jacobs, Elissa Beth (New York) show/hide docs
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Kissane, Thomas Aquinas (New York) show/hide docs
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Smith, Robert S. (New York) show/hide docs
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Weiss, Dara Lynn (New York) show/hide docs
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Other Lawyers Coles, Anthony Paul (New York) show/hide docs
PN-NY-0057-9001
McQuade, Stephen (New York) show/hide docs
PN-NY-0057-9001

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