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Waterfront Commission v. Pasquale

Decided: February 15, 1961.

WATERFRONT COMMISSION OF NEW YORK HARBOR, RESPONDENT,
v.
JOSEPH PASQUALE, APPLICANT-APPELLANT



Price, Gaulkin and Sullivan. The opinion of the court was delivered by Sullivan, J.A.D.

Sullivan

On June 1, 1960, respondent Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor (hereinafter referred to as the Commission) denied Joseph Pasquale's third petition for reconsideration and for leave to reapply for registration as a longshoreman and a checker. Pasquale appeals.

The Commission was created by acts of New Jersey and New York. (N.J.S.A. 32:23-1 et seq.; McK. Unconsol. Laws , ยง 6700-aa et seq.) pursuant to a compact entered into between the two states with the consent of Congress. The function of the Commission under the compact is to regulate the conditions under which waterfront labor is employed within the Port of New York District for the purpose of eliminating racketeering and other criminal activities therein. A discussion of the waterfront conditions which led to the making of the compact and the creation of the Commission is set forth in Hazelton v. Murray , 21 N.J. 115 (1956).

The Waterfront Commission Act, as amended, N.J.S.A. 32:23-1 et seq. , provides for the establishment of a longshoremen's register by the Commission and prohibits any person from being employed as a longshoreman in the Port of New York District unless he is registered as such by the Commission. Also, under the act no person shall be employed as a checker unless he is included in the longshoremen's register as a checker. The act provides that registration may be revoked, inter alia , for:

"(1) Conviction of any crime or offense in relation to gambling, bookmaking, pool selling, lotteries or similar crimes or offenses if the crime or offense was committed at or on a pier or other waterfront terminal or within 500 feet thereof; * * *." N.J.S.A. 32:23-93

In the present case the facts are as follows. In 1954 Joseph Pasquale applied for and was granted registration

as a longshoreman. His application to the Commission disclosed that he had been convicted of "False Pretense, 1945, Hudson County, 3 years probation." (The actual date of the conviction is July 28, 1948.) In 1957 Pasquale applied for registration as a checker and was granted temporary registration.

In August 1958 Pasquale was arrested by the State Police and charged with possession of slips bearing mutuel race horse policy plays. Pasquale was found guilty of the charge in the Municipal Court of Hoboken on September 18, 1958.

On September 26, 1958, on the initiative of the Commission and on notice to Pasquale, a hearing was had on his fitness for registration as longshoreman and checker, and on January 28, 1959, by order of the Commission, Pasquale's application for registration as a checker was denied, his temporary registration as such was revoked and annulled, and his name was permanently removed from the longshoremen's register.

As a basis for its order the Commission adopted findings which referred to Pasquale's 1948 conviction of obtaining money by false pretenses and his 1958 conviction of possession of race horse policy play slips, the slips being characterized as "collector's slips." The latter offense, the Commission found, was committed within 500 feet of a waterfront terminal in violation of N.J.S.A. 32:23-93(1), supra. The Commission determined "that by virtue of the aforesaid conduct and convictions" Pasquale did not possess the good character and integrity required for checker registration under the act, and that his presence at the piers and waterfront terminals constituted a danger to public peace and safety within the meaning of the act. Pasquale did not appeal the Commission ruling.

In June 1959 Pasquale petitioned the Commission for reconsideration of its action, which petition was denied by Commission order dated July 16, 1959. No ...


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