The Second Circuit panel that removed Judge Scheindlin from the stop-and-frisk case cited her “improper application of the Court’s ‘related case rule,’” without further explanation. In a motion filed late this evening asking the Second Circuit to vacate Judge Scheindlin’s orders, New York City argued that Judge Scheindlin violated the related case rule, which the City interprets to apply only when the two potentially related cases are both pending, not when the prior one is closed:

The District Judge accepted Floyd as related to Daniels v. City of New York, 99 Civ. 01695 (SAS) (HBP) (S.D.N.Y.), a case that “terminated” on the District Court’s docket in 2005, after the parties entered into a settlement agreement. Floyd was filed on January 31, 2008, one month after the December 31, 2007 sunset of that settlement agreement. Local Rule 13 of the Southern District Rules for the Division of Business Among Judges (formerly Local Rule 15) sets forth the standard by which cases may be deemed related, and the procedure for doing so. A plain reading of Section 13(a) of the rule provides that a case may only be deemed related to another pending case. For example, 13(a)(ii) refers specifically to “efficient and economical conduct of the litigations.” The rule goes on to state that “the likelihood of a consolidated or joint trial or joint pre-trial discovery” may be relevant to determining whether two cases should be deemed related. Moreover, Section 13(c)(ii) directs that “[a] case designated as related shall be forwarded to the judge before whom the earlier-filed case is then pending…” . . . Further, the Local Civ. R. 1.6(a) for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, which imposes responsibilities on attorneys with respect to potentially related cases, refers to “pending” cases only: “[i]t shall be the continuing duty of each attorney appearing in any civil or criminal case to bring promptly to the attention of the Court all facts … relevant to a determination that said case and one or more pending civil or criminal cases should be heard by the same Judge…” (emphasis added).

Prior posts on the case are here.