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Daily Decision Service Alert: Vol. 21, No. 216 ? November 6, 2012
New Jersey Law Journal
FEDERAL COURT CASES
24-7-8139 Stiglich v. Chattem, Inc., Dist. Ct. (Bumb, U.S.D.J.) (7 pp.) Plaintiff has moved to remand this matter to New Jersey Superior Court, Atlantic County. Defendant Chattem, Inc. has moved to transfer this matter to the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington. This matter was removed based on diversity jurisdiction. Plaintiffs original complaint alleged claims against Chattem and Defendant Garden State Nutritionals, a citizen of New Jersey. These claims were based on Plaintiffs alleged consumption of products labeled Dexatrim that were produced by Chattem and Garden State, contained phenylpropanolamine (PPA) and ephedra, and caused him injury. Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint deleting references to PPA and asserting certain Dexatrim products containing ephedra caused him to be injured. The appellate panel rejects Plaintiffs argument that Garden State was fraudulently joined for the purpose of blocking removal based on the forum defendant rule. Based on the facts presented, the Court concludes that Plaintiff has problematic claims against both Defendants, not a fraudulent claim against Garden State. Because Garden State was not fraudulently joined, Chattems removal of this action violates the forum defendant rule. Plaintiffs motion to remand is granted. Chattems motion to transfer is denied as moot. [Filed November 5, 2012]
PUBLIC EMPLOYEES DISCRIMINATION
33-7-8140 Andriani v. City Of Hoboken, Dist. Ct. (Martini, U.S.D.J.) (6 pp.) Angelo Andriani, a former lieutenant, filed a complaint against various defendants related to the Hoboken Police Department. Andriani asserted that from December 2005 until August 2010, Defendants treated him differently from similarly situated officers on the basis of his race, in violation of: Title VII, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, and 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981 and 1983. Andriani listed his mailing address and also completed and signed a Consent & Registration Form to Receive Documents Electronically. Defendants moved for summary judgment, asserting in part that Andriani could have raised his claims in a 2007 lawsuit in which a group of Hispanic Hoboken Police Officers sued him based on alleged inappropriate and discriminatory behavior as their supervisor. Defendants provided the Court with a copy of a Settlement Agreement and Release which Andriani signed before the dismissal with prejudice of the 2007 lawsuit, as settled. Defendants summary judgment papers, with the Settlement Agreement and Release, were e-mailed to Adriani and a paper copy was mailed to him. Andriani never responded. The Court granted Defendants motion for summary judgment, finding Andrianis claims barred by the doctrine of federal claim preclusion. Here, the Court denies Andrianis motion for reconsideration, rejecting his arguments that he did not receive the motion papers and Defendants filed an incorrect copy of the Settlement and Release. [Filed November 5, 2012]
TORTS FAMILY LAW
36-7-8141 D.B. v. Division Of Youth And Family Services, Dist. Ct. (Wolfson, U.S.D.J.) (15 pp.) Through this suit, Plaintiff D.B. seeks to hold Defendant Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS), the Department of Human Services (DHS), and the State of New Jersey (State Defendants), along with several unnamed state officials (State Official Defendants), accountable for alleged systematic acts of verbal and physical abuse perpetrated upon him while he was placed in the state foster care system. Here, the State Defendant move to dismiss the complaint under sovereign immunity grounds and for failure to file a tort claim notice. Plaintiff correctly argues that the Section 1983 counts are not made against the State, DYFS, or DHS. The State Defendants motion to dismiss the section 1983 claims on sovereign immunity grounds is denied. Plaintiffs section 1983 counts are limited to the State Officer Defendants in their personal capacities. Finding case law supports Plaintiffs argument that the tort claim notice requirement is tolled during a plaintiffs infancy, and where Plaintiff has yet to reach his eighteenth birthday, the Court denies the State Defendants motion to dismiss based upon a failure to file a tort claim notice. [Filed November 5, 2012]
CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE IMMIGRATION DETENTION
14-7-8142 Baguidy v. Elwood, Dist. Ct. (Wolfson, U.S.D.J.) (24 pp.) Petitioner is currently being detained by the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (DHS/ICE) at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution in Freehold, New Jersey, pending his removal from the United States. Peititioner was taken into criminal custody for a removable offense on March 1, 2001, and was released on June 1, 2001. Over nine years later, on January 19, 2011, Petitioner was taken into DHS/ICE custody pending removal proceedings. He has been detained for more than 18 months when he filed this habeas petition, in which he challenges his pre-removal period mandatory detention under 8 U.S.C. § 1226(c). The Court holds that Petitioners detention is governed by 8 U.S.C. § 1226(a), and grants this petition for habeas relief directing the Immigration Judge to conduct a bond hearing to determine if Petitioner is a flight risk or danger to the community. [Filed November 5, 2012]