A federal judge knocked down an effort by police unions to get involved in the city's stop-and-frisk settlement.
A U.S. district court found the unions were not in a position to take over an appeal process the de Blasio administration abandoned earlier this year.
The appeal had been against an earlier court ruling that found the NYPD's use of stop-and-frisk was discriminatory.
The attorney for the plaintiffs said Wednesday's decision paved the way for a final settlement with the city, which would include a reform of stop-and-frisk and more NYPD oversight.
"These are decision that the city must make. This is the responsibility of the city to fix the problem, and the policy makers. So the unions are going to have a seat at the table regardless, through the remedial process, which allows for police organizations to give input into what the reforms should be," said Darius Charney of the Center for Constitutional Rights.
Mayor Bill de Blasio applauded the decision, saying it would be a major step towards repairing police-community relations.
But the head of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association promised to appeal, saying police unions have been cut out of settlement negotiations.
A statement read in part, "It is unfair and inconceivable that employees would not be allowed in this process."