R.C. v. The City of New York – Class Action

The Bronx Defenders and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP represent a class of people in R.C. v. The City of New York. This case challenges the NYPD’s use and disclosure of sealed arrest records. This case alleges that the NYPD uses sealed arrest records for internal investigative purposes and shares sealed records externally with prosecutors and the press in violation of New York law.  Under the New York sealing statutes, the NYPD is required to seal criminal arrest records so that they are not available to any person or agency when the criminal case terminated in favor of the accused.  The NYPD is also required to return or destroy photographs and fingerprints that were taken in connection with the sealed arrest.

The class includes “all persons whose records are in the possession of the NYPD and are subject to sealing under Criminal Procedure Law Sections 160.50 and/or 160.55.”  If you have been arrested by the NYPD and the case terminated in your favor (for example, charges were never brought, you were found not guilty, or you plead guilty to a non-criminal violation), you might be a class member.

If you are a class member, you do not need to do anything to participate in the case. If the plaintiffs prevail, the NYPD will have to change how it stores, uses, and shares arrest records, and those changes will apply to all members of the class. This case does not ask for money and it will not affect ongoing criminal cases or past criminal convictions. If you wish to seek monetary damages or have questions about a criminal case, you should consult your own lawyer.

For more information, please email our Impact Litigation Practice at ilp@bronxdefenders.org