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Sin City Sues, ‘Selective Enforcement’ Drove it Out of Business

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New York Civil Rights Lawyer Eric Sanders, Esq., of The Sanders Firm, P.C., SCE Group Inc. d/b/a Sin City Entertainment alleges that the City of New York began the campaign of ‘selective enforcement’ to drive it out of business, thereby enabling politically connected parties to purchase its devalued property for a lucrative development to its detriment

New York, NY, September 28, 2018, according to the lawsuit, the City of New York subjected SCE, its patrons and other stakeholders to unlawful ‘selective enforcement’ activities despite a previous ruling in Sulkowska v. City of New York, et al., 129 F.Supp. 2d 274 (S.D.N.Y. January 24, 2001), due to their race and/or national origin of its target market.

SCE alleges that despite the ruling in Sulkowska, the City of New York continue the unlawful ‘selective enforcement’ activities citywide based upon the race and/or national origin of the On Premises (OP) license holder, patrons and other stakeholders.

From December 2014 through January 5, 2018, SCE alleges that the City of New York through its government agents issued ‘false’ violations, ‘false’ summonses, engaged in ‘false’ arrests, legally baseless stop and frisks, legally baseless checkpoints, ‘unlawful’ Business Inspections and other unlawful selective enforcement activities based upon the race and/or national origin of the business owner, patrons and other stakeholders, according to the lawsuit.

However, despite ‘selective enforcement’ activities, the 40th Precinct Community Council had a difference point of view, On January 5, 2016, it details in a letter, writing “It is to my knowledge that the SCE Group Inc. dba Sin City Entertainment has never been a threat to the quality of life in our community, nor a focal point of attention in our monthly meetings.”

In October 2016, the New York City Council introduced 13 bills called the Nuisance Abatement Fairness Act in response to a New York Daily News and ProPublica investigation that found the New York City Police Department has abused the decades-old law. The City of New York enacted the nuisance abatement law in the 1970s to push the sex industry out of Times Square. SCE alleges that since then, the City of New York through the NYPD has greatly expanded its use, targeting businesses and homes it said were the sites of repeated criminal activity, according to the lawsuit. The NYPD has filed more than 2,609 petitions from 2013 through 2015 alone. According to the lawsuit, SCE alleges that the New York Daily News and ProPublica analyzed more than 1,100 cases filed during that period, and found the targets were frequently households with one or more members accused of low-level drug charges, and immigrant-owned shops accused of selling alcohol to underage auxiliary police officers. SCE alleges that the targets were almost exclusively located in communities of color. In some instances, nuisance cases went forward even after the criminal cases that spurred them fell apart and charges were dismissed, according to the lawsuit. SCE alleges that the NYPD’s Legal Bureau initiated nearly every case with a request for a court order closing the location without warning, forcing people to negotiate settlements while either homeless or unable to earn a living. The NYPD’s Legal Bureau would legally ‘force’ business owners to agree to unfettered access to surveillance cameras and data-storing identification readers and pay civil penalties to stay in business.

According to the lawsuit, around June 2016, the NYPD’s Legal Bureau filed a petition against THE LAND AND BUILDING KNOWN AS 2520 PARK AVENUE, TAX BLOCK 2322, TAX LOT 15, COUNTY OF BRONX, CITY AND STATE of NEW YORK; 2500 PARK AVENUE REALTY; SCE GROUP INC.; “JOHN DOE” and “JANE DOE”…, in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York Index No.: 250804/16, seeking an preliminary and permanent injunction, enjoining a public nuisance within the ground floor commercial premises located at 2520 Park Avenue Bronx, N.Y., closing the subject premises for a period of one (1) year from the posting of the judgment and other legal remedies.SCE alleges that the NYPD’s Legal Bureau would have ‘forced’ its multi-million-dollar business to cease operations. On November 7, 2016, faced with losing everything, SCE alleges that it entered into a ‘forced’ Stipulation of Settlement with the NYPD Legal Bureau, consenting to a ‘reasonable’ number of unannounced business inspections for a period of one (1) year, payment of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00) payable to defendant THE CITY OF NEW YORK in full payment of civil penalties, and other remedies.

SCE alleges that “the NYPD Legal Bureau selective use of the nuisance abatement law was orchestrated to drive it out of business, thereby enabling politically connected parties to purchase its devalued property for a lucrative development to its detriment.”

“Over the years, we’ve seen federal litigation and numerous media accounts regarding ‘selective enforcement’ in the areas of stop and frisk, summonses, criminal trespass and fare beating. However, under-reported are the many instances of ‘selective enforcement’ in the nightlife industry where corruption is the norm. With this federal litigation, SCE intends to hold the parties responsible for the benefit of the owners, patrons and other stakeholders,” says Eric Sanders.

Eric Sanders, Esq., of The Sanders Firm, P.C., filed the federal complaint with the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Docket No.: 18 cv 8909 on September 28, 2018.

ABOUT THE SANDERS FIRM, P.C.

The Sanders Firm, P.C.  offers those in the New York City area legal services related and connected to civil rightscivil service rightscriminal law and discrimination. We firmly believe in everyone’s individual rights that are described and guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America. We understand that our freedoms and liberties are sacrosanct and that they have been won in many and various hard-fought battles. We are committed in every way to protecting your civil rights. We are your voice for justice!

CONTACT

Eric Sanders, Esq.
President and Owner, The Sanders Firm, P.C.
Business Phone: 212-652-2782
Read Federal Complaint 

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Sin City Sues, ‘Selective Enforcement’ Drove it Out of Business