at the store. They were never called and Gipson was never arrested. Gipson does assert in his affidavit that the store manager threatened to call a policeman in the store to arrest Gipson and his wife if he did not sign the release form. However, assuming for the purpose of this motion that this threat was made, this fact alone does not establish any police involvement with the case which would permit the court to make a finding that the Pathmark personnel were acting in concert with the police in a preconceived, customary manner.
Finally, Gipson argues that while the SGC personnel may have acted under a constitutional statute, they went beyond the scope of the statute by informing Gipson's supervisor of the detention. He asserts that it was this abuse of the statute which gives rise to a cause of action for damages under § 1983. In support of this argument, Gipson relies on Hollis v. Itawamba County Loans, 657 F.2d 746 (5th Cir.1981). The court finds this argument unavailing for two reasons. Firstly, as will be discussed, there was no constitutional deprivation as a result of SGC's actions. Secondly, Hollis concerns a situation in which abuse of a statutory procedure for replevin invoked state power. However, in the instant case, even if the SGC personnel acted beyond the scope of N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11, that alleged abuse is not sufficient to place the actions under color of state law. Cf. Weyandt, supra, (plaintiff allegedly was slapped, beaten, forcibly restrained and searched).
B. Constitutional Deprivation
Gipson asserts that he was deprived of his constitutional right to property when the actions of SGC led to the termination of his job. Property interests are not created by the federal constitution. They are created and defined by an independent source such as state law. Board of Regents v. Roth, 408 U.S. 564, 577, 92 S. Ct. 2701, 2709, 33 L. Ed. 2d 548 (1972). A property interest is more than a mere expectation. It is a "legitimate claim of entitlement" which is protected by the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Id.
Gipson cites Article I, Section I of the New Jersey Constitution and cases interpreting this section as guaranteeing his property interest in his job.
However, the court finds that this section of the New Jersey Constitution does not guarantee a person's expectation in holding a particular job. It is true that Carroll v. Local No. 269, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, 133 N.J.Eq. 144, 146, 31 A.2d 223 (1943) states in dicta that "the right to earn a livelihood is a property right which is guaranteed in our country by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the Federal Constitution, and by the State Constitution." (Citations omitted). In Peper v. Princeton University Board of Trustees, 77 N.J. 55, 77, 389 A.2d 465 (1978), the court states that in "New Jersey, the right to obtain gainful employment and to use the fruits of such labor to acquire property has traditionally been considered basic." However, these are very general statements of a protected right to earn a livelihood as opposed to providing a property interest in any one particular job.
In summary, the court finds that as a matter of law, SGC did not act under color of state law and did not violate Gipson's constitutional rights. Consequently, the court grants summary judgment to SGC on Gipson's claims under § 1983. However, since the plaintiffs also assert federal claims against SGC and Realty under § 301 of the LMRA, the court will not grant summary judgment or dismiss as to any other claims against SGC or Realty at this time.