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.

Alpha Painting & Construction Co., Inc. v. Delaware River Port Authority of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

June 22, 2018

ALPHA PAINTING & CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
DELAWARE RIVER PORT AUTHORITY OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA AND THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY, Defendant.

          PETER J. TORCICOLLO JENNIFER A. HRADIL KEVIN W. WEBER KAITLYN E. STONE GIBBONS, PC, On behalf of Plaintiff

          STEWART JOHN GREENLEAF, THOMAS J. ELLIOTT, ELLIOTT GREENLEAF PC, UNION MEETING CORPORATE CENTER V, On behalf of Defendant.

          OPINION

          NOEL L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.

         Presently before the Court is the motion of Defendant, Delaware River Port Authority (“DRPA”), to dismiss the amended complaint of Plaintiff, Alpha Painting & Construction Company, Inc. (“Alpha”). For the reasons expressed below, Defendant's motion will be granted in part and denied in part.

         BACKGROUND

         The background facts and procedural history are well-known to the parties. Briefly recapped, after a four-day bench trial, on September 23, 2016, this Court found that officials of the DRPA acted in a manner that was arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable when it awarded Corcon Inc. (“Corcon”), and not Alpha, Contract CB-31-2016, a $17 million contract to continue a restoration and painting project on the Commodore Barry Bridge (the “Contract”).

         The Court held that DRPA's determination to award Corcon the Contract was irrational because it arbitrarily deemed Alpha to be a non-responsible bidder after DRPA violated its own procurement rules to recraft Corcon's bid into the lowest responsive and responsible bid. On the day the bids were received and opened on June 16, 2016, Alpha was the lowest responsive, responsible bidder for the Contract and Corcon was not.

         The Court found that DRPA's arbitrary and capricious actions over the next two months flipped that result without any meaningful justification or rational process. (Docket No. 37 at 40.) As a result, the Court enjoined DRPA from proceeding on the Contract with Corcon, and directed DRPA to award the contract to Alpha, which the Court found to be the lowest responsive and responsible bidder in accordance with DRPA's procurement rules. (Id. at 42-43.)

         DRPA appealed the Court's decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. On April 6, 2017, the Third Circuit issued its judgment affirming this Court's finding that DRPA acted arbitrarily and capriciously in the contract award process. Alpha Painting & Construction Co. Inc. v. Delaware River Port Authority of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, 853 F.3d 671, 674 (3d Cir. 2017). The Third Circuit reversed, however, this Court's order directing that DRPA award the Contract to Alpha. Id. The Third Circuit vacated that part of the decision and remanded the case “for the entry of a more limited injunction” to enable Alpha to be “restored to competition.” Id.

         On remand, the Court Ordered a rebid on a new contract for the Commodore Barry Bridge painting project, finding that a rebid was consistent with the Third Circuit's mandate, and was the only fair and equitable result, for the parties and the public. (Docket No. 68 at 15.) The Court also permitted Alpha to file an amended complaint if it wished to proceed with any viable claims it might have against DRPA, rejecting DRPA's argument that Alpha was barred from renewing the claims the Court previously dismissed as moot. (Id. at 17.)

         Within the time afforded by the Court, Alpha filed an amended complaint, asserting claims for violation of: state common law for DRPA's arbitrary and capricious actions (Count I), [1] Alpha's due process rights (Count II), New Jersey's Open Public Meetings Act (NJOPMA), N.J.S.A. 10:4-6 to -21 (Count III), Pennsylvania's Sunshine Act (PASA), 65 Pa. C.S.A. § 701 et seq. (Count IV), and Alpha's right to equal protection (Count V).[2] (Docket No. 70.)

         DRPA has moved to dismiss Alpha's amended complaint. DRPA first reargues that this Court lacks jurisdiction over the amended complaint because Alpha abandoned those claims and did not appeal them. DRPA further argues that Alpha's claims lack merit and fail as a matter of law. DRPA also points out that during the pendency of its motion, DRPA conducted a rebid in compliance with this Court's directive, but Alpha did not submit a bid. DRPA contends that because Alpha did not participate in the process it sought, Alpha should not be permitted to pursue its claims as a matter of public policy.[3]

         Alpha counters DRPA's position that it cannot pursue its claims and argues that DRPA's motion ignores the procedural posture of this case and pretends the trial and injunction never happened. Alpha argues that it has sufficiently pleaded its claims, including its property interest for its due process claim, and that its claims are entitled to substantive consideration in light of the record. Alpha states that the resolution of its claims does not require any discovery or additional trial days, and it is prepared to promptly bring the appropriate motion for judgment in its favor.

         DISCUSSION

         A. Subject Matter Jurisdiction

         Because Alpha has brought claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged violations of its constitutional rights, this Court has jurisdiction of this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1343, and supplemental jurisdiction over Alpha's state law claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367.

         B. Standard for Motion to Dismiss

         When considering a motion to dismiss a complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a court must accept all well-pleaded allegations in the complaint as true and view them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Evancho v. Fisher, 423 F.3d 347, 351 (3d Cir. 2005). It is well settled that a pleading is sufficient if it contains “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Under the liberal federal pleading rules, it is not necessary to plead evidence, and it is not necessary to plead all the facts that serve as a basis for the claim. Bogosian v. Gulf Oil Corp., 562 F.2d 434, 446 (3d Cir. 1977). However, “[a]lthough the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not require a claimant to set forth an intricately detailed description of the asserted basis for relief, they do require that the pleadings give defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff's claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Baldwin Cnty. Welcome Ctr. v. Brown, 466 U.S. 147, 149-50 n.3 (1984) (quotation and citation omitted).

         A district court, in weighing a motion to dismiss, asks “‘not whether a plaintiff will ultimately prevail but whether the claimant is entitled to offer evidence to support the claim.'” Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 563 n.8 (2007) (quoting Scheuer v. Rhoades, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974)); see also Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 684 (2009) (“Our decision in Twombly expounded the pleading standard for ‘all civil actions' . . . .”); Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210 (3d Cir. 2009) (“Iqbal ...


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.