Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
Fed. R. Civ. P. 23 typicality requires that the claims of the class representatives be typical of those of the class, and is satisfied when each class member's claim arises from the same course of events and each class member makes similar legal arguments to prove the defendant's liability. Rather than focusing on the precise nature of plaintiffs' injuries, the typicality requirement may be satisfied where injuries derive from a unitary course of conduct by a single system.
On over 2.8 million occasions between 2004 and 2009, New York City police officers stopped residents and visitors, restraining their freedom, even if only briefly. Over fifty percent of those stops were of Black people and thirty percent were of Latinos, while only ten percent were of Whites. The question presented by this lawsuit is whether the New York City Police Department ("NYPD") has complied with the laws and Constitutions of the United States and the State of New York. Specifically, the four named plaintiffs allege, on behalf of themselves and a putative class, that defendants have engaged in a policy and/or practice of unlawfully stopping and frisking people in violation of their Fourth Amendment right to be free from unlawful searches and seizures and their Fourteenth Amendment right to freedom from discrimination on the basis of race. Plaintiffs David Floyd, Lalit Clarkson, Deon Dennis, and David Ourlicht are Black men who seek to represent a class of similarly situated people in this lawsuit against the City of New York, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and named and unnamed police officers. On behalf of the putative class, plaintiffs seek equitable relief in the form of (1) a declaration that defendants' policies, practices, and/or customs violate the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, and (2) a class-wide injunction mandating significant changes in those policies, practices, and/or customs.
Were the prerequisites of Fed. R. Civ. P. 23 met?
The court held that Fed. R. Civ. P. 23 certification was warranted in plaintiff arrestees' putative class suit alleging that a city, its police department, and its police officers engaged in a policy and/or practice of unlawfully stopping and frisking people based on their race, in violation of their Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights, because the class was sufficiently numerous, and there were several common issues of law and fact based on the alleged policy.