New York City Jail Visit Settlement

Grottano, et al. v. The City of New York, et al. In the United States District Court Southern District of New York Civil Action No. 15 Civ. 9242 (RMB)


TO:

All persons who visited or attempted to visit an inmate housed at a New York City Department of Correction (“DOC”) facility from November 23, 2012, to October 30, 2019 (“Class Period”), who were subject to an Invasive Search. An Invasive Search is any search of a visitor conducted by DOC employees at a DOC facility that resulted in more than accidental or incidental exposure of, or contact with, a visitor's breasts, genitals, or buttocks as part of the search process.

You may have been mailed a Notice by order of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (the “Court”). It describes a proposed settlement (the “Settlement”) of a class action lawsuit asserting claims against the City of New York (the “Civil Action”) for violating the constitutional rights of visitors to DOC facilities. The Notice also describes your right to receive money from this Settlement if eligible.

Summary of Settlement:

  • On November 23, 2015, the Class Representatives filed the Civil Action, on behalf of themselves and a class of individuals (“Class Members”) who were subjected to unlawful Invasive Searches. A final settlement agreement was reached in June 2019.
  • The Settlement includes cash payments of approximately $4,000 for eligible Class Members who file claim forms by April 27, 2020.
  • The Court in charge of this case is the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, and the case is known as Grottano, et al. v. The City of New York, et al. United States District Judge Richard M. Berman is presiding. The Court has preliminarily approved the Settlement and wishes to inform you of the general terms of the Settlement and what actions you need to take to participate in the benefits provided by the Settlement if you are eligible.
  • The Court will hold a hearing (called a “Fairness Hearing”) to consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate, and to decide whether to give final approval to this Settlement. The Fairness Hearing will be held at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 6, 2020, before The Honorable Richard M. Berman, United States District Judge, Southern District of New York, 500 Pearl Street, Courtroom 17B, New York, New York 10007. If the Court approves the Settlement, the Court’s judgment will be final and binding, and payments will be made to eligible Class Members after the completion of all claims processing.
  • You may attend the Fairness Hearing if you wish, but you are not required to appear at the hearing. If you are a Class Member, you will be represented by Class Counsel at no cost to you.

YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AND OPTIONS IN THIS CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT DEADLINE
Submit a Claim Form The only way to receive payment under the Settlement. April 27, 2020
Opt-Out Get out of the lawsuit and the Settlement. This is the only option that allows you to ever bring or join another lawsuit raising the same legal claims against The City of New York, Commissioner Joseph Ponte, Correction Officer Yolanda Capers and Correction Officer Thomasena Graham (collectively, the “Defendants”). You will receive no payment from this Settlement. January 20, 2020
File Objection Write to the Court about any aspect of the Settlement you don’t like or you don’t think is fair, adequate, or reasonable. (If you object to any aspect of the Settlement, you must submit a written Objection by the Objection Deadline.) January 20, 2020
Go to Fairness Hearing Speak in Court about the Settlement at the Fairness Hearing.  (If you object to any aspect of the Settlement, you must submit a written Objection by the Objection Deadline, which is January 20, 2020, at 12:30 p.m.) February 6, 2020 at 12:30 p.m.
Do Nothing You will not receive any payment; also, you will have no right to sue later for the same legal claims against The City of New York, Commissioner Joseph Ponte, Correction Officer Yolanda Capers and Correction Officer Thomasena Graham (collectively, the “Defendants”) that are in this Civil Action and are a part of this Settlement.

  • These rights and options—and the deadlines to exercise them—are explained in the Notice.
  • The Court in charge of this case still has to decide whether to approve the Settlement. Payments will be sent to Settlement Class Members only if the Court approves the Settlement. If there are appeals, payments will not be made until the appeals are resolved and the Settlement becomes effective. Please be patient and continue to check this website for updates.
  • Fairness Hearing
    In order to decide whether to approve the Settlement, Judge Richard M. Berman will consider related papers and comments submitted by the Parties or others and will hold a hearing in open court. This Fairness Hearing will be held on Thursday, February 6, 2020 at 12:30 p.m., at the Southern District of New York, 500 Pearl Street, Courtroom 17B, New York, New York 10007.

This is only a summary of the proposed Settlement. For the precise terms and conditions of the Settlement, please see the Settlement Agreement. Alternatively, you can contact the Claim Administrator or Class Counsel.


PLEASE DO NOT TELEPHONE THE COURT OR THE COURT CLERK’S OFFICE TO INQUIRE ABOUT THIS SETTLEMENT OR THE CLAIM PROCESS.