Levitt v. New York City Police Department

NOTE: The information and commentary contained in this database entry are based on court filings and other informational sources that may contain unproven allegations made by the parties. The truthfulness and accuracy of such information is likely to be in dispute. Information contained in this entry is current as of the last event mentioned in the "Description" section below; additional proceedings might have taken place in this matter since this event.

Summary

Threat Type: 

Denial of Access

Date: 

01/10/2007

Status: 

Concluded

Location: 

New York

Disposition: 

Settled (total)

Verdict or Settlement Amount: 

N/A
On January 10, 2007, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) notified Leonard Levitt, a journalist and blogger who operates NYPD Confidential, that it would not renew his press credentials.  Before this denial, Levitt had held NYPD press credentials for... read full description
Parties

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Leonard Levitt

Type of Party: 

Government

Type of Party: 

Individual

Location of Party: 

  • New York

Location of Party: 

  • New York

Legal Counsel: 

Corey Stoughton, Christopher Dunn, Arthur Eisenberg - New York Civil Liberties Union
Description

On January 10, 2007, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) notified Leonard Levitt, a journalist and blogger who operates NYPD Confidential, that it would not renew his press credentials. 

Before this denial, Levitt had held NYPD press credentials for twenty-seven years, according to the New York Times. Levitt's petition in New York state court indicates that NYPD Confidential is

a news gathering organization that covers spot or breaking news events on a regular basis. [Mr. Levitt] provides in-depth investigative reporting of NYPD events, often exposing behavior and events the NYPD would rather be shielded from the public.

As explained in a New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) press release, Mr. Levitt believes that the NYPD denied him credentials in retaliation for his critical views about the department.

After the NYPD confirmed the denial of his press pass on appeal, Mr. Levitt asked the department for more information regarding its credentialing policies and procedures, and it allegedly refused to comply. Levitt and the NYCLU subsequently filed a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request with the NYPD, asking for documents related to its policies and procedures governing press passes, and documents related to the department's denial of Mr. Levitt's application. The NYPD did not produce any responsive documents and denied an administrative appeal. In response, on February 20, 2008, Levitt and the NYCLU filed a lawsuit in New York to compel production of the requested documents.

The NYPD turned over the requested documents in June 2008. 

Details

Content Type: 

  • Text

Publication Medium: 

Blog

Subject Area: 

  • Access to Gov't Information
Court Information & Documents

Jurisdiction: 

  • New York

Source of Law: 

  • New York

Court Name: 

Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County

Court Type: 

State

Relevant Documents: 

CMLP Information (Private)

Priority: 

1-High

Threat Source: 

Listserv

CMLP Notes: 

JMC Editing - 7/14/2008