Henry v. The City of New York et al

Filing 219

ORDER terminating 139 Letter Motion for Conference re: 139 LETTER MOTION for Conference (Pre-Motion Conference) addressed to Judge John G. Koeltl from Arianna Markel dated August 26, 2021., 176 LETTER MOTION to Compel Pro duction of Unredacted Disciplinary Files addressed to Judge John G. Koeltl from Arianna Markel dated November 8, 2021., 177 LETTER MOTION to Compel Production of Unredacted Disciplinary Files addressed to Judge John G. Koel tl from Arianna Markel dated November 8, 2021. ; denying 176 Letter Motion to Compel; denying 177 Letter Motion to Compel. Motion to Compel: Pending before the Court is Plaintiff's motion to compel Defendants to produce u nredacted disciplinary files of the individual Defendants. (See Pl.s 11/8/21 Ltr. Mot., ECF No. 176.1) For the reasons stated during today's conference, and the reasons set forth herein, Plaintiff's motion is DENIED. The Cou rt carefully has reviewed the documents provided for the Court's in camera review in both redacted and unredacted form, and the Court is satisfied that Defendants' latest production, made on November 12, 2021, is appropriately redacted so as to provide Plaintiff with the disciplinary information to which he is entitled-that is, disciplinary information relating to conduct, substantiated or not, similar to the conduct alleged in the complaint or that raises questions about Defendants' credibility. See Saavedra v. City of New York, No. 19CV07491 (JPC), 2021 WL 104057, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 12, 2021) ("The longstanding 'prevailing practice' of courts throughout the Second Circuit is to 'limit discovery of a defendant's disciplinary history to complaints, whether substantiated or not, about conduct similar to the conduct alleged in the complaint.'" (citation omitted)); Local Civil Rule 83.10(e)(1) (C) (requiring City to produce in § 1983 Cases information regarding complaints or incidents that are similar to the incident alleged in the complaint or that raise questions about the defendant's credibility"). Motion to Seal: Also pending before the Court are motions to seal various filings which contain, among other things, Defendants' disciplinary records or references to such records. (See ECF Nos. 157, 172, 198, 201, 204 & 215.) These documents were filed under seal because they were designated by Defendants as "Confidential Materials" pursuant to the terms of the Protective Order entered in this case. (See Prot. Order, ECF No. 35.) However, the Protective Order expressly provides that "docume nts and information... shall not be deemed 'Confidential Materials' to the extent, and only to the extent, that they are: (1) obtained by Plaintiff from sources other than Defendants, or (b) [] otherwise publicly available." (Id. 3. ) As addressed during today's conference, much of the information contained in these documents is otherwise publicly available, and thus is not subject to the protections contained in the Protective Order, including the provisions ( in paragraph 12) requiring that such documents be filed under seal. See Walls v. City of New York, No. 19CV00337 (RPK) (VMS), 2021 WL 1812634, at *3 (E.D.N.Y. May 6, 2021) (referring to CCRB, Pro Publica, 50a and NYCLU websites). Ac cordingly, no later than January 3, 2022, Defendants shall file a letter with the Court that, with respect to each of the filings at ECF Nos. 159, 175, 177, 179, 197, 200 and 216, either (1) withdraws Defendants' opposition to removing the seal on such filing; or (2) encloses a revised version of such filing containing redactions only of the information that Defendants contend should remain under seal, while explaining with specificity (in the body of the letter) the basis for each such redaction. As consented to by Defendants during today's conference, the Clerk of Court is respectfully directed to lift the seal from the letter filed at ECF No. 203. (Cf. Defs.' 11/17/21 Ltr. Resp. #2, ECF No. 209, at 1 n.2.) Letter Regarding Redacted Photo Arrays: Also pending before the Court is a letter from Plaintiff arguing that Defendants' redaction of certain "photo arrays of the Defendant officers, which were sh own to Mr. Henry... just five days after his arrest" is improper. (Pl.'s 11/18/21 Ltr., ECF No. 217.2) As discussed during today's conference, the Court agrees. No later than Monday, November 22, 2021, Defendants shall produce to Plaintiff unredacted versions of the photo arrays at issue. The Clerk of Court is respectfully requested to cancel the gavels at ECF Nos. 139, 176 and 177. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Magistrate Judge Stewart D. Aaron on 11/19/2021) (tg)

Download PDF
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT  SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK  Levar Henry,  11/19/2021 Plaintiff,  ‐against‐  1:17‐cv‐03450 (JGK) (SDA)  ORDER  The City of New York, et al.,  Defendants.  STEWART D. AARON, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE:  This Order separately addresses a motion to compel, several motions to seal, and a letter  arguing that certain photo arrays should have been produced without redactions.  I. Motion To Compel Pending  before  the  Court  is  Plaintiff’s  motion  to  compel  Defendants  to  produce unredacted disciplinary files of the individual Defendants. (See Pl.’s 11/8/21 Ltr. Mot., ECF No.  176.1)  For  the  reasons  stated  during  today’s  conference,  and  the  reasons  set  forth  herein,  Plaintiff’s motion is DENIED.  The  Court  carefully  has  reviewed  the  documents  provided  for  the  Court’s  in  camera  review in both redacted and unredacted form, and the Court is satisfied that Defendants’ latest  production, made on November 12, 2021, is appropriately redacted so as to provide Plaintiff with  the disciplinary information to which he is entitled—that is, disciplinary information relating to  conduct,  substantiated  or  not,  similar  to  the  conduct  alleged  in  the  complaint  or  that  raises  1  ECF No. 177 is an unredacted version, filed under seal, of the Letter Motion that Plaintiff filed at ECF No.  176. questions about Defendants’ credibility. See Saavedra v. City of New York, No. 19‐CV‐07491 (JPC),  2021 WL 104057, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 12, 2021) (“The longstanding ‘prevailing practice’ of courts  throughout  the  Second  Circuit  is  to  ‘limit  discovery  of  a  defendant’s  disciplinary  history  to  complaints, whether substantiated or not, about conduct similar to the conduct alleged in the  complaint.’” (citation omitted)); Local Civil Rule 83.10(e)(1)(C) (requiring City to produce in § 1983  Cases information regarding “complaints or incidents that are similar to the incident alleged in  the complaint or that raise questions about the defendant’s credibility”).   II. Motions To Seal  Also pending before the Court are motions to seal various filings which contain, among  other things, Defendants’ disciplinary records or references to such records. (See ECF Nos. 157,  172, 198, 201, 204 & 215.) These documents were filed under seal because they were designated  by Defendants as “Confidential Materials” pursuant to the terms of the Protective Order entered  in this case. (See Prot. Order, ECF No. 35.) However, the Protective Order expressly provides that  “documents and information . . . shall not be deemed ‘Confidential Materials’ to the extent, and  only to the extent, that they are: (1) obtained by Plaintiff from sources other than Defendants,  or (b) [] otherwise publicly available.” (Id. ¶ 3.)  As  addressed  during  today’s  conference,  much  of  the  information  contained  in  these  documents is otherwise publicly available, and thus is not subject to the protections contained  in the Protective Order, including the provisions (in paragraph 12) requiring that such documents  be  filed  under  seal.  See  Walls  v.  City  of  New  York,  No.  19‐CV‐00337  (RPK)  (VMS),  2021  WL  1812634, at *3 (E.D.N.Y. May 6, 2021) (referring to CCRB, Pro Publica, 50‐a and NYCLU websites).  Accordingly, no later than January 3, 2022, Defendants shall file a letter with the Court that, with  2  respect  to  each  of  the  filings  at  ECF  Nos.  159,  175,  177,  179,  197,  200  and  216,  either  (1)  withdraws Defendants’ opposition to removing the seal on such filing; or (2) encloses a revised  version  of  such  filing  containing  redactions  only  of  the  information  that  Defendants  contend  should remain under seal, while explaining with specificity (in the body of the letter) the basis for  each such redaction.  As  consented  to  by  Defendants  during  today’s  conference,  the  Clerk  of  Court  is  respectfully directed to lift the seal from the letter filed at ECF No. 203. (Cf. Defs.’ 11/17/21 Ltr.  Resp. #2, ECF No. 209, at 1 n.2.)  III. Letter Regarding Redacted Photo Arrays  Also pending before the Court is a letter from Plaintiff arguing that Defendants’ redaction  of certain “photo arrays of the Defendant officers, which were shown to Mr. Henry . . . just five  days after his arrest” is improper. (Pl.’s 11/18/21 Ltr., ECF No. 217.2) As discussed during today’s  conference,  the  Court  agrees.  No  later  than  Monday,  November  22,  2021,  Defendants  shall  produce to Plaintiff unredacted versions of the photo arrays at issue.   The Clerk of Court is respectfully requested to cancel the gavels at ECF Nos. 139, 176 and  177.  SO ORDERED.  Dated:                        New York, New York    November 19, 2021                                ______________________________  STEWART D. AARON  United States Magistrate Judge 2  ECF No. 216 is an unredacted version, filed under seal, of the Letter that Plaintiff filed at ECF No. 217.  3 

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?