Settlement Agreements

Police department agrees to implement recording rights guidelines in settlement with videographer

Danielle Keeton-Olsen | Newsgathering | News | June 19, 2014
June 19, 2014

New York’s Suffolk County Police Department agreed to take new measures to instruct police on citizens’ recording rights in a settlement following the arrest of a freelance videographer.

Phillip Datz, a videographer and member of the National Press Photographers Association, filed a complaint against Suffolk County Police in 2012 after an officer arrested him for obstruction of governmental administration because Datz filmed police activity while on a public street.

Before the case made it to trial in the U.S. District Court of New York, Datz and Suffolk County reached a settlement. Suffolk County agreed to develop resources on citizens’ recording rights and to pay Datz $200,000 to cover attorney’s fees and costs.

New York City settles for $18 million over RNC arrests of journalists, protesters

Cindy Gierhart | Newsgathering | News | January 16, 2014
January 16, 2014

The city of New York has reached an $18 million settlement over the arrest of roughly 1,800 protesters, journalists, and bystanders at the 2004 Republican National Convention.

Journalists, often those who were not credentialed, were among the many swept into holding pens at Pier 57 in New York City, some held for a couple hours and others held well over 24 hours. The conditions in the detention facilities – a former bus depot along the Hudson River – were described as filthy with poor ventilation, according to the New York Times.

Journalist reaches settlement in defamation case with Haitian prime minister

Latara Appleby | Prior Restraints | News | October 31, 2013
October 31, 2013

Haitian-American journalist Leo Joseph reached a settlement in the defamation case against him brought by Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe.

"He went toe to toe with the prime minister of Haiti, and the prime minister blinked," said Scott Ponce, Joseph's attorney.

Pa. appeals court rules newspapers can pursue sealed records in fracking settlement

Lilly Chapa | Secret Courts | News | December 11, 2012
December 11, 2012

Two newspapers can now argue for the unsealing of settlement documents in a secretive fracking lawsuit, a Pennsylvania appeals court ruled Friday.

Reporters Committee lauds federal court's ruling that secret Del. court arbitration is unconstitutional

Press Release | August 30, 2012
August 30, 2012
Reporters Committee lauds federal court's ruling that secret Del. court arbitration is unconstitutional

A federal judge in Delaware stood up for the right to be informed about important disputes that may affect public health and safety Thursday when she declared unconstitutional state court rules that allow blanket confidentiality in private arbitration proceedings and records.

Journalist settles with city of Pittsburgh over wrongful arrest during G-20 summit in 2009

Amanda Simmons | Newsgathering | News | July 31, 2012
July 31, 2012

The city of Pittsburgh settled a federal lawsuit with a journalist who claimed he was arrested and wrongfully detained under harsh conditions for 12 hours after covering protests of the Group of 20 economic summit three years ago.

UC Berkeley police settle with unlawfully arrested photographer for $162,500; more police training

Raymond Baldino | Reporter's Privilege | News | July 5, 2012
July 5, 2012

The University of California Berkeley Police Department has settled with an independent photographer who sued the department after he was arrested and had his photographs confiscated while covering a protest in 2009. As part of the $162,500 settlement, the department has also agreed to change its policies towards the media and train officers about journalists' legal protections.

Open government lawyer: Delaware court's disclosure of arbitration judgments does not satisfy access right

Kristen Rasmussen | Secret Courts | Feature | March 13, 2012
March 13, 2012

A Delaware court that oversees arbitration between private companies has begun making its judgments public, after a court order in a lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of the court’s secrecy.

Judge denies request to make gas drilling settlement public

Rachel Bunn | Secret Courts | Feature | February 8, 2012
February 8, 2012

A Pennsylvania judge denied a request by two Pittsburgh-area newspapers to make public documents relating to a settlement between several gas drilling corporations and a local family, stating that the newspapers failed to petition before the documents were sealed.

Eight year Howling Pig litigation ends in $425K settlement

Chris Healy | Libel | Feature | December 14, 2011
December 14, 2011

Students doctored a photo of a professor for a satirical magazine.