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New York Settles Wrongful Arrest Case for $35,000

By Derek Gilna

In a Stipulation and Order of Settlement filed with the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on May 13, 2010, the City of New York has agreed to pay $35,000 to settle the wrongful arrest case of Iris Lago. The settlement includes a provision that New York does not admit any fault or liability.

The case stemmed from a complaint filed in December of 2009, wherein Lago alleged that on September 2, 2008, after exiting a store in the Bronx with a male companion, she and her male companion were stopped and subsequently arrested by New York Police Officer Colin Higgins and his partner on alleged drug violations. Lago had asserted in her complaint that Higgins had "searched the Plaintiff in a manner that [was] sexually abusive and inappropriate... and not related to any legitimate law enforcement purpose." After being transported to and processed at the 44th Precinct, then to the 46th Precinct, then the 52nd Precinct, and finally Bronx Central Booking, Lago was released without charge. No contraband of any sort was found by the arresting officers.

Lago had alleged deprivation of rights under the United States Constitution and 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983. She was represented by Jeffrey A. Rothman of New York.
Lago v. City of New York, Colin Higgins and John Does, 1:2009cv09863 (S.D.N.Y. 2009).

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Related legal case

Lago v. City of New York, Colin Higgins and John Does