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Circuit court putting stop-and-frisk requests on hold

A New York Police Department (NYPD) car sits

A New York Police Department (NYPD) car sits parked in Times Square. (Aug.12, 2013) Credit: Getty Images

The full Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has put on hold requests that it step into disputes over court-ordered stop-and-frisk reforms, and hinted that the city and its adversaries should try to work out a resolution of the case.

The full court, with 13 active judges, had been asked to reconsider rulings by a three-judge panel in October that put on hold a decision by Manhattan U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin naming a monitor to oversee NYPD street stops and removed Scheindlin from the case.

Last week, however, the three-judge panel refused a city request to immediately annul Scheindlin's rulings finding NYPD stop-and-frisk practices unconstitutional and set all the issues down for argument next year -- after mayor-elect Bill DeBlasio, who has promised to drop the city's appeal, takes office.

The full court, citing that ruling, said in an order Monday that it would hold pending requests for a rehearing from the plaintiffs and from the judge "in abeyance" to "maintain and facilitate the possibility that the parties might request the opportunity to return to the District Court for the purpose of exploring a resolution."

As of now, the stay of Scheindlin's appointment of a monitor remains in effect, and Scheindlin is off the case, which has been reassigned to U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres.

The stay would be removed if a new City Hall administration agreed to drop the city's appeal as part of a resolution.

It is not clear, however, if a resolution could return the case to Scheindlin, who was accused of creating an appearance of partiality by having the stop-and-frisk suit steered to her in 2007 and by giving media interviews. Additionally, a request by police unions for standing to pursue an appeal if DeBlasio drops it remains pending.

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