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Local 1804 v. Waterfront Commission

Decided: December 20, 1979.

LOCAL 1804, INTERNATIONAL LONGSHOREMEN'S ASSOCIATION, AFL-CIO, LOCAL 1804-1, INTERNATIONAL LONGSHOREMEN'S ASSOCIATION, AFL-CIO AND JAMES CASHIN, PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS,
v.
WATERFRONT COMMISSION OF NEW YORK HARBOR, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT



On appeal from Superior Court, Law Division, Hudson County.

Bischoff, Botter and Dwyer. The opinion of the court was delivered by Bischoff, P.J.A.D.

Bischoff

This appeal requires us to determine whether the disqualification to hold office because of a conviction of crime provided by § 8 of the Waterfront Commission Act, N.J.S.A. 32:23-80 and N.J.S.A. 32:23-80.2, occurs upon conviction in the trial court or only after affirmance on appeal.

James Cashin was the secretary-treasurer of Locals 1804 and 1804-1 of the International Longshoremen's Association, AFL-CIO. After a jury trial in Superior Court, Cashin was convicted on April 11, 1978 of assault with an offensive weapon (N.J.S.A. 2A:90-3) and assault with intent to kill (N.J.S.A. 2A:90-2). He was sentenced to two concurrent terms of one to three years in State Prison and appealed his conviction. After Cashin's conviction, the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor (Commission) advised the president of the International Longshoremen's Association by letter dated July 3, 1978 that unless Cashin resigned his office with Locals 1804 and 1804-1, § 8 of the Waterfront Commission Act would be violated each time union dues, assessments and other payments were collected or received. The Commission sent a second letter on November 24, 1978 to the stevedore companies that employed members of Locals 1804 and 1804-1, advising them to refrain from collecting or receiving members' dues so long as Cashin held office because their doing so would violate § 8 of the Waterfront Commission Act.

Plaintiff filed this action for a judgment declaring that § 8 of the Waterfront Commission Act should be construed to take effect only upon affirmance on appeal of the judgment of conviction of Cashin. Cross-motions for summary judgment were filed and, after argument, the trial judge held that

Judgment was entered for defendant dismissing plaintiff's complaint and adjudging that James Cashin:

This appeal by plaintiffs presents the single issue of whether § 8 of the Waterfront Commission Act which prohibits individuals who have been convicted of certain crimes from holding positions with labor organizations includes individuals whose appeals of trial court convictions are pending.

Section 8 of the Waterfront Commission Act, N.J.S.A. 32:23-80, provides in pertinent part:

No person shall solicit, collect or receive any dues, assessments, levies, fines or contributions, or other charges within this State of New Jersey for or on behalf of any labor organization which represents employees registered or licensed pursuant to the provisions of this act . . ., if any officer, agent or employee of the labor organization for which such dues, assessments, levies, fines or contributions, or other charges are solicited, collected or received . . . has been convicted by a court of the United States, or any State or territory thereof, of treason, murder, manslaughter or any felony, high misdemeanor or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, or any crime or offense enumerated in subdivision 3(b) of section 5-n of this act, unless he has been subsequently pardoned therefor . . ..

N.J.S.A. 32:23-80.2 supplements § 8 and provides in pertinent part:

No person who has been convicted of a crime or offense specified in section 8 of this Act (N.J.S.A. 32:23-80) shall directly or indirectly serve as an officer, agent or employee of a labor organization, welfare fund or trust as defined in section 8 . . .. No person, including a labor organization, welfare fund or trust within the meaning of section 8, shall knowingly permit ...


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