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.

CAVALLARY v. LAKEWOOD SKY DIVING CTR.

October 11, 1985

RICHARD F. CAVALLARY, Plaintiff,
v.
LAKEWOOD SKY DIVING CENTER, HONORABLE ROBERT H. DOHERTY, JR., J.S.C., and KEITH O. EVANS, ESQ., Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: HAIGHT

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

HAIGHT, District Judge:

 Plaintiff pro se Richard F. Cavallary brings this action, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, claiming that defendants have denied him the right to trial by jury of a civil action in a New Jersey state court without due process of law. Cavallary also presses related state tort claims under this Court's diversity jurisdiction, 28 U.S.C. § 1332.

 In the New Jersey action, Cavallary sued defendant, The Lakewood Skydiving Center ("Lakewood"), to recover for injuries allegedly sustained in a skydiving accident on August 1, 1982. Cavallary was represented in that action by defendant Keith O. Evans, Esq. The matter was assigned to defendant The Honorable Robert H. Doherty, Jr., Judge of the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

 All three defendants move to dismiss, or for summary judgment, on the claims against them. Plaintiff has filed no papers in response to the motions.

 I. The Honorable Robert H. Doherty, Jr.

 In his complaint, plaintiff asserts that on or about March 12, 1984, Judge Doherty dismissed the New Jersey action. Plaintiff contends that in doing so, Judge Doherty failed to grant him a trial by jury and did "not provid[e] [Cavallary] with due process of law."

 Judge Doherty's motion to dismiss the complaint against him on the ground that this Court lacks in personam jurisdiction over him, pursuant to F.R. Civ. P. 12(b)(2), is granted. Under F.R.Civ.P. 4(f), service of process on a non-New York domiciliary in this action may be effected only to the extent permitted by New York's long-arm statute. N.Y.C.P.L.R. § 302(a). In addition, the out-of-state defendant must have sufficient minimum contacts with New York such that this Court's exercise of jurisdiction over him would comport with "traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice." International Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316, 90 L. Ed. 95, 66 S. Ct. 154 (1945), citing Milliken v. Meyer, 311 U.S. 457, 463, 85 L. Ed. 278, 61 S. Ct. 339 (1940).

 It is undisputed that at all relevant times Judge Doherty lived and worked in New Jersey; that he has not transacted business in New York; that he owns no property here; and that he has committed no tortious act within the state. Although Cavallary as a New York resident was arguably "injured" by Judge Doherty's dismissal of his action, Cavallary filed that action in the New Jersey court and all proceedings in connection therewith, including the dismissal, took place in New Jersey.

 I conclude that Judge Doherty lacks the minimum contacts with New York that are a prerequisite to this Court's exercise of in personam jurisdiction over him.

 Even if this Court could assert in personam jurisdiction over Judge Doherty, the complaint against him would have to be dismissed as barred by the doctrine of judicial immunity, see, Pierson v. Ray, 386 U.S. 547, 87 S. Ct. 1213, 18 L. Ed. 2d 288 (1967), since this is a suit only for money damages and not injunctive relief, cf., Pulliam v. Allen, 466 U.S. 522, 104 S. Ct. 1970, 1981, 80 L. Ed. 2d 565 (1984), and Cavallary does not assert that Judge Doherty acted in the "clear absence of all jurisdiction," Stump v. Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349, 356-57, 55 L. Ed. 2d 331, 98 S. Ct. 1099 (1978).

 Judge Doherty's motion to dismiss the claim against him is granted.

 II. Keith O. Evans, Esq.

 Evans, counsel for Cavallary in the New Jersey action, moves for summary judgment on plaintiff's claim against him for legal malpractice. Plaintiff claims that Evans breached his agreement to provide plaintiff with adequate legal representation by "allowing and condoning the [New Jersey action] to be dismissed" and "by not ...


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.