ECBAWM Wins Contempt Victory Against City of New York for Enforcing Unconstitutional Loitering Laws

  • April 26, 2010

ECBAWM, along with co-counsel The Bronx Defenders, today prevailed on its motion to hold the City of New York in contempt of court. Acting through the NYPD, the City had continued to enforce void and unconstitutional loitering laws decades after these laws were struck down by courts. Ruling on plaintiffs’ motion, Judge Shira A. Scheindlin of the Southern District of New York held: “The city’s obstinance and uncooperativeness throughout the present actions is offensive to the rule of law. The human toll, of course, has been borne by the tens of thousands of individuals who have, at once, had their constitutional rights violated and been swept into the penal system.” Judge Scheindlin ruled that following a six-month grace period, the City would be subject to progressively larger fines for continued enforcement of the void laws. ECBAWM lawyers Katherine Rosenfeld and Matthew D. Brinckerhoff represent the plaintiffs, along with J. McGregor Smyth Jr. of The Bronx Defenders.

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