United States District Court, D. New Jersey
THOMAS P. FINN, Plaintiff,
ESTATE OF GENNARO R. SCHIAVO, JR. and SHARON SCHIAVO, Defendants.
OFFICE OF JEREMY SPIEGEL By: Jeremy S. Spiegel, Esq. Counsel
SEGLIAS PALLAS GREENHALL & FURMAN, P.C. By: Jonathan A.
Cass, Esq. Counsel for Defendants.
L. Hillman, U.S.D.J.
Thomas Finn alleges that his former business partner,
now-deceased Gennaro “Jerry” Schiavo, Jr., stole
from their limited liability company, Temp-Rite. Plaintiff
further alleges that Defendant Sharon Schiavo - Jerry's
wife, and Temp-Rite's Operations Manager / bookkeeper -
aided and abetted Jerry Schiavo's misappropriations. The
Court previously granted Defendants' Motion to Dismiss
the claims against Jerry Schiavo's estate, holding that
those claims are subject to arbitration. Finn v.
Schiavo, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16622 (D.N.J. Feb. 11,
2016). The Court also stayed the claims against Defendant
Sharon Schiavo pending the resolution, in arbitration, of the
claims against the estate. Id. The case was
administratively terminated pending the disposition of the
the Court's decision, Plaintiff has filed with the
American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) an
arbitration demand which includes both the claims against the
Defendant estate and the claims against Defendant Schiavo.
The arbitration is scheduled for October, 2017.
asks this Court to: (A) enjoin Plaintiff and the AAA from
proceeding with the arbitration against her; and (B) impose
sanctions against Plaintiff's counsel pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1927. For the reasons stated herein, the Court
will grant the motion to the extent that it seeks to enjoin
only Plaintiff (not the AAA) from pursuing arbitration of the
claims asserted against Schiavo. The Motion will be denied in
all other respects.
undisputed that Sharon Schiavo is not a signatory to the
arbitration agreement at issue, which is contained in
Temp-Rite's Operating Agreement. Indeed, in the previous
briefing on the Motion to Dismiss the parties seemed, at
least implicitly, to assume that the claims against Sharon
Schiavo were not arbitrable under any legal theory.
in opposition to the instant motion, Plaintiff asserts that
the claims against Schiavo are subject to arbitration.
Plaintiff relies upon a single footnote in Defendant
Schiavo's brief in support of her previous motion to
dismiss wherein she stated she “is willing to
consent to the jurisdiction of the arbitrator, ” and
that she “is willing to stipulate as
such.” (Docket #9, Moving Brief, p. 12 n.3)(emphasis
added). However, nothing in the papers before this Court
indicates that Defendant Schiavo ever signed anything
consenting to arbitrate the claims against her. Indeed, all
of her other actions in this litigation and the arbitration
suggest that she has not, and does not, consent to
to Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(a), the Court may issue preliminary
injunctions. It is well established that a court is
“obliged to enjoin an arbitration” where it is
determined “that a valid arbitration agreement does not
exist or that the matter at issue clearly falls outside the
substantive scope of the agreement . . . .”
PaineWebber Inc. v. Hartmann, 921 F.2d 507, 511 (3d
Cir. 1990), abrogated on other grounds by Howsam v. Dean
Witter Reynolds, Inc., 537 U.S. 79 (2002).
attorney or other person admitted to conduct cases in any
court of the United States . . . who so multiplies the
proceedings in any case unreasonably and vexatiously may be
required by the court to satisfy personally the excess costs,
expenses and attorneys' ...