Daily Decision Service Alert: Vol. 21, No. 211 – October 29, 2012

New Jersey Law Journal

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FEDERAL COURT CASES
 
BANKRUPTCY
42-6-8100 In Re: Jones, Bankruptcy Ct. (Winfield, U.S.D.J.) (4 pp.) Before the court is PlaintiffÕs amended Bill of Costs. Under Fed. R. Bankr. P. 7054, Plaintiff requests $2,851.25 as costs allowable under 28 U.S.C. ¤ 1920. Plaintiff also cites to Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(d)(1) as a basis for allowance of costs. This is an understandable error by a pro se party, but no costs can be allowed under Rule 54(d)(1). Bankruptcy Rule 7054(a) explicitly states that only Rule 54(a)-(c) applies in adversary proceedings. Additionally, under either Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9011 or Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(h) (made applicable by Fed. R. Bankr. P. 7056), Plaintiff requests the additional sum of $1,348.00 representing costs incurred but not compensable under 28 U.S.C. ¤ 1920. Moreover, Plaintiff seems to request an additional monetary sanctions under Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 9011(a)(b)(1) and (3) and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(h). However, such an allowance is not properly requested in connection with the taxation of costs under ¤ 1920. In connection with the courtÕs grant of summary judgment no sanctions were permitted, and the present request is untimely and not properly a component of a Bill of Costs. Taxable costs under ¤ 1920 are allowed in the amount of $ 2,437.55. [Filed October 26, 2012]
  
INSURANCE — HEALTH INSURANCE — CONTRACTS
23-7-8101 Angel Jet Services LLC v. Borough of Woodland Park, U. S. Dist. Ct. (Cavanaugh, U.S.D.J.) (10 pp.) Third-party defendants North Jersey Municipal Employee Benefits Fund and Aetna Insurance Company move to dismiss the third-party complaint of third-party plaintiff borough seeking coverage for medical air transport services plaintiff rendered to the borough's police chief after the mayor overrode third-party defendants' denial of coverage and expressly agreed, on behalf of the borough, to pay all costs of the air ambulance transportation. The borough asserts four claims under common law principles of contract law for two types of relief: declaratory relief for violation of the terms of the healthcare contract and a declaration by the court stating that Aetna violated express and implied terms of the healthcare plan. The court grants the motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, finding that the borough's facts do not show that the police chief was entitled to receive this specific form of transportation as part of his insurance coverage, and that the borough's allegations fail to suggest that Aetna exercised its discretion under the healthcare contract for an improper motive and the borough thus does not satisfy the improper motive element of a good faith performance claim. [Filed October 26, 2012]
 
JURISDICTION — FIRST-FILED RULE
24-8-8102 Honeywell International Inc. v. International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, Third Cir. (Jordan, C.J.) (9 pp.) Honeywell appeals the District Court's dismissal of its declaratory judgment act complaint against defendant-union in favor of a second-filed suit that the union brought against Honeywell in Michigan, claiming that it was reversible error for the court not to follow the first-filed rule. Noting that the first-filed rule is not a dispositive rule and does not override the court's discretionary authority to determine whether to entertain a suit for declaratory relief, the Third Circuit affirms, finding that the District Court did not abuse its discretion as its ruling was substantially based on the fact that Michigan had a greater nexus to the dispute than New Jersey and that Honeywell's decision to sue before providing the required statutory notice suggested that it was attempting to beat the union to the courthouse, both of which findings were supported by the record. [Filed October 26, 2012]
 
LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT — ARBITRATION
25-7-8103 Graphic Communications Local 612M v. Nextwave Web, LLC, Dist. Ct. (Martini, U.S.D.J.) (4 pp.) This matter comes before the Court on an unopposed motion to confirm a labor arbitration award issued by the New Jersey State Board of Mediation. The underlying dispute concerned Defendant Nextwave Web LLCÕs lay-off of Plaintiff Sandro Mancini, a member of the Graphics Communications Local 612M of the Graphic Communications Conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (ÒGCCÓ). Mancini and GCC ask the Court not only to confirm the award, but to quantify it, as well. Plaintiffs also seek attorneyÕs fees, costs, and pre-judgment interest. An arbitrator awarded reinstatement for Mancini, along with back-pay and out-of-pocket medical expenses. Before Plaintiffs could confirm the award in state court, Nextwave removed the action to the District Court, which has subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ¤¤ 1331 and 1441 and Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act. GCC was a party to the arbitration; Mancini, on the other hand, was not. Since Mancini does not allege that GCC breached its duty of fair representation, the Court denies ManciniÕs motion on standing grounds. The Court grants Plaintiff GCCÕs motion to confirm the award in the amount of $31,236.20 plus fees, costs, and pre-judgment interest. [Filed October 26, 2012]
 
PUBLIC EMPLOYEES —DISCRIMINATION
33-8-8104 Kimber-Anderson v. City of Newark, Third Cir. (Jordan, C.J.) (8 pp.) Plaintiffs, all of whom are women and each of whom is a state certified Fire Prevention Specialist employed by the city to inspect buildings to ensure compliance with the fire codes, appeal the District Court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the city and its Fire Director on their complaint of gender discrimination and hostile work environment in which they assert that male FPSs who were subsequently hired were not qualified and were treated more favorably. The Third Circuit affirms, finding that plaintiffs are unable to make a prima facie showing of discrimination because they cannot show that they suffered an adverse employment action that others outside their protected class did not suffer, and they failed to show a hostile work environment since even if relations between them and the more recently hired males were strained, those circumstances are insufficient to show a hostile work environment. Also, plaintiffs' section 1983 claim asserting a violation of their right to equal protection fails because they have failed to show that they were subjected to intentional discrimination. [Filed October 26, 2012]
 

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