Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Benevolent Association v. North Hudson Regional Fire & Rescue

May 15, 2001

NEW JERSEY STATE FIREMEN'S MUTUAL BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION; UNION CITY FMBA LOCAL NO. 212 AND LOCAL NO. 12; WEEHAWKEN FMBA LOCAL NO. 26; AND WEST NEW YORK FMBA LOCAL NO. 15, PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS,
v.
NORTH HUDSON REGIONAL FIRE & RESCUE, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Civil Part, Hudson County, L- 6510-99.

Judges Petrella, Newman and Braithwaite.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Petrella, P.J.A.D.

As amended August 23, 2001.

NEW JERSEY STATE FIREMEN'S MUTUAL BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION; UNION CITY FMBA LOCAL NO. 212 AND LOCAL NO. 12; WEEHAWKEN FMBA LOCAL NO. 26; AND WEST NEW YORK FMBA LOCAL NO. 15, PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS,
v.
NORTH HUDSON REGIONAL FIRE & RESCUE, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT.

On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Civil Part, Hudson County, L- 6510-99.

Craig S. Gumpel argued the cause for appellants (Fox & Fox, attorneys; David I. Fox and Mr. Gumpel, of counsel and on the brief). David F. Corrigan argued the cause for respondent (Murray, Murray & Corrigan, attorneys; Mr. Corrigan, of counsel; Joan M. Damora and Thomas M. Toman on the brief). Markowitz & Richman, attorneys for amicus curiae New Jersey State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police (Charles F. X. Szymanski, on the brief). Zazzali, Fagella & Nowak, attorneys for amicus curiae New Jersey State Policeman's Benevolent Association (Paul L. Kleinbaum, of counsel; Edward M. Suarez, on the brief).

Judges Petrella, Newman and Braithwaite.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Petrella, P.J.A.D.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued April 2, 2001

Plaintiffs New Jersey State Firemen's Benevolent Association (FMBA), Union City FMBA Local No. 212 and Local No. 12, Weehawken FMBA Local No. 26, and West New York FMBA Local No. 15 appeal from the entry of summary judgment in the Law Division by Judge D'Italia declaring N.J.S.A. 11A:6-10 and 40A:14-177 unconstitutional as special legislation. Those statutes require public employers to grant paid convention leave to delegates to certain State conventions of various prescribed organizations, in this case the FMBA convention. We affirm, holding the statutes to be an unconstitutional delegation of legislative authority.

I.

Plaintiffs' complaint in lieu of prerogative writs sought injunctive relief to enjoin North Hudson Regional Fire & Rescue (Regional),*fn1 a public employer, from denying delegates from the Union City, Weehawken and West New York FMBA locals (they did not have majority representative status), paid leave to attend the September 1999 State FMBA Convention and asserted a statutory right to paid convention leave under N.J.S.A. 11A:6-10 and 40A:14-77.*fn2

The parties cross-moved for summary judgment and declaratory relief and Judge D'Italia granted plaintiffs' request to amend their complaint to assert claims for reimbursement for those individuals who had recently attended the recent State FMBA convention without pay.

The judge granted Regional's motion and declared the statutes unconstitutional as special legislation under N.J. Const., Article IV, § 7, but did not declare them unconstitutional as an improper delegation of authority to the State FMBA because he felt bound by case law, although he expressed reservations about the prior case law. Aside from the constitutionality questions, he also ruled that under N.J.S.A. 11A:6-10 and 40A:14-177, paid convention leave was not limited to organizations with negotiation representation status and did not limit the number of representatives entitled to paid leave. Plaintiffs' cross-motion for summary judgment and request for a stay of the order pending appeal were denied.

Prior to the 1999 consolidation of the fire departments of the affected municipalities, firefighters and fire officers of each municipal fire department were represented by separate local unions for collective negotiation and fraternal purposes. Union City firefighters and fire officers were represented by plaintiffs FMBA Local Nos. 12 and 212, respectively. Weehawken firefighters were represented by plaintiff FMBA Local No. 26. West New York firefighters and fire officers were affiliated with plaintiff FMBA Local No. 15 for fraternal purposes only. West New York, Guttenberg and North Bergen were represented for collective negotiation purposes by the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), which is not affiliated with the FMBA or a party to this litigation.

After the consolidation, the Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) held an election for the firefighters and fire officers of the newly formed regional department to determine a collective negotiation representative to represent public employees to negotiate with Regional. On March 16, 1999, the North Hudson Firefighters Association (NHFA) and the North Hudson Fire Officers Association (NHFOA) were elected as the collective negotiation representatives for the firefighters and fire officers of Regional. The NHFA thus replaced the FMBA and IAFF locals who previously represented the individual departments of the participating municipalities. The NHFA and the NHFOA were not affiliated with the FMBA at the commencement of this suit.*fn3 Plaintiffs assert that after the election the local unions remained affiliated with the FMBA and continued to represent the officers for fraternal purposes until October 1999.

On August 6, 1999, Union City FMBA Local No. 12 submitted a request that Regional provide paid convention leave to six firefighters from that union to serve as delegates at the State FMBA convention between September 13 and 16, 1999. On August 19, 1999, Weehawken FMBA Local No. 26 also submitted a request for paid convention leave for five delegates to attend the convention. Plaintiffs assert that West New York FMBA Local No. 15 intended to request convention leave for five delegates, but did not do so because it believed Regional ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.