In their first response to a federal lawsuit in which more than 120 Seattle police officers are challenging new use-of-force policies, city attorneys Wednesday filed a short document with the judge handling the case, informing her that another federal judge overseeing police reforms had previously found the policies to be constitutional.

The two-page document, a “Notice of Related Case,” does not request any specific action and is generally considered a formality when related issues may arise in different cases, the Seattle Times reports.

But in alerting U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman to the prior finding, the notice gave Pechman an option to keep the case, transfer it to the other judge, U.S. District Judge James Robart, or consult with him on what course to take.

Robart is overseeing the 2012 consent decree between the city and the U.S. Department of Justice, which requires the Seattle Police Department to adopt reforms to curtail excessive force and biased policing. In a Dec. 17 written order, Robart approved the new use-of-force policies.

 

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