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.

ASSOCIATION OF SURROGATES v. ST. OF N.Y.

December 4, 1991

ASSOCIATION OF SURROGATES AND SUPREME COURT REPORTERS WITHIN THE CITY OF NEW YORK, MARY O'LEARY, PRESIDENT; CITYWIDE ASSOCIATION OF LAW ASSISTANTS, BARBARA BROWN, PRESIDENT; COURT ATTORNEYS ASSOCIATION OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK, ROBERT A. MULHALL, PRESIDENT; COURT OFFICERS BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION OF NASSAU CO., JEFFREY POLLACK, PRESIDENT; DISTRICT COUNCIL 37, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF STATE, COUNTY AND MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES & LOCAL 1070, PAUL SHELKIN, PRESIDENT; LOCAL 704, SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION, JOHN WALSH, PRESIDENT; NEW YORK STATE SUPREME COURT OFFICERS ASSOCIATION, ILA, LOCAL 2013, AFL-CIO, JOHN MCKILLOP, PRESIDENT; NINTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION, MARTIN SHARP, PRESIDENT; SUFFOLK CO. COURT EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION, INC., THOMAS F. MCGUINNESS, PRESIDENT; THE COMMUNICATION WORKERS OF AMERICA, AFL-CIO, LOCAL 1180, ARTHUR CHELIOTES, PRESIDENT; CIVIL SERVICE FORUM, LOCAL 300, SEIU, SALVATORE CANGIARELLA, PRESIDENT; JANET FOSTER, SUSAN GLASBRENNER, MICHAEL SULLIVAN, DAVID RICHMAN, GREG SNIGOR, JAMES DINAPOLI, WILLIAM ROSARIO, ABEL PELTRO, GEORGE F. BERGHORN, LISA ROSENZWEIG AND MICHAEL SMITH, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
STATE OF NEW YORK; EDWARD V. REGAN, AS COMPTROLLER OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK; ROBERT ABRAMS, AS ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK; MATTHEW T. CROSSON, AS CHIEF ADMINISTRATOR OF THE UNIFIED COURT SYSTEM AND THE STATE OF NEW YORK UNIFIED COURT SYSTEM, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robert P. Patterson, Jr., District Judge.

OPINION

Defendant Crosson moves for an order clarifying the Order and Judgment, 772 F. Supp. 1412, of this Court dated August 29, 1991 implementing the mandate of the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which instructed this Court to:

  (1) enter a declaratory judgment declaring that
  New York's lag-payroll law violates the contract
  clause of the United States Constitution; (2)
  enjoin the continuing effects and application of
  the lag-payroll law; and (3) enter an appropriate
  judgment for the plaintiffs which shall include
  restitution of the lagged wages for all affected
  employees. Whether or not interest shall be
  awarded on the restored wages will lie in the
  equitable discretion of the district court.

Association of Surrogates & Supreme Court Reporters v. State of New York, 940 F.2d 766, 775 (2d Cir. 1991). Defendant Crosson contends that the Judgment enjoins application of the lag payroll statute to unrepresented and represented employees alike.*fn1 Defendants State of New York, Edward Regan, and Robert Abrams (the "State Defendants") counter that only represented employees are covered by the Judgment. For the reasons stated below, this Court grants Defendant Crosson's motion and clarifies its Order and Judgment to require implementation for both unrepresented and represented employees.

BACKGROUND

The facts of this case are set forth fully in this Court's previous opinion dated September 3, 1991, which followed its August 29, 1991 Judgment; familiarity with that opinion is presumed. Following the entry of Judgment in this case in accordance with the instruction of the Second Circuit, the Comptroller of the State of New York transferred into a special account money sufficient to reimburse all employees for lag payroll deductions with interest. Back salary owed to all represented employees was then paid. Upon submission of vouchers by the Office of Court Administration, interest to these same employees also will be paid. Sufficient money has been transferred to the special account to cover payment of withheld salary plus interest to unrepresented employees, but restitution to those employees hinges upon the Court's opinion herein. State Def.Mem. in Opp. at 5.

DISCUSSION

1. The Mandate from the Second Circuit

According to the State Defendants, the Second Circuit's finding that the lag payroll statute is unconstitutional applies only to represented employees who were parties to a collective bargaining agreement with the State of New York. This Court agrees. The clear thrust of the Court of Appeals's opinion is that the lag payroll law violates the contract clause of the United States Constitution because it constitutes a substantial, unnecessary, and unreasonable impairment by the State of its contractual obligations to the represented employees. See 940 F.2d at 772-73.

Defendant Crosson contends that the "plain language" of the mandate, however, requires that restitution be made to all affected employees "regardless of their representation status." Def. Crosson's Reply Mem. in Supp. at 3; Def. Crosson's Mem. in Supp. at 6-7. This Court disagrees that the language is that clear, but instead finds ambiguity in the Court of Appeals' requirement that the judgment include "restitution of the lagged wages for all affected employees" in its mandate to this Court. 940 F.2d at 775. On its face and when read in conjunction with the rest of the instruction that the "appropriate judgment for the plaintiffs" shall include such relief, the phrase "all affected employees" does appear to refer to all employees, represented or unrepresented, from whom pay was withheld under the lag payroll statute. In addition, the district court was instructed to "enjoin the continuing effects and application of the lag-payroll law." Id. at 775 (emphasis added).

This Court will not base its decision on the intention of the Court of Appeals, however, because even if the mandate applies only to represented employees, this Court must strike the entire statute since it finds that it is not severable.

2. Severability

The severability of the lag payroll statute is governed by New York law. See National Advertising Co. v. Town of Niagara, 942 F.2d 145, 148 (2d Cir. 1991); General Elec. Co. v. New York State Dep't of Labor, 936 F.2d 1448, 1460 (2d Cir. 1991). The New York test for severability is "whether the legislature, if partial invalidity had been foreseen, would have wished the statute to be enforced with the invalid part exscinded, or rejected altogether." People ex rel. Alpha Portland Cement Co. v. Knapp, 230 N.Y. 48, 129 N.E. 202, 207 (1920), cert. denied, 256 U.S. 702, 41 S.Ct. 624, 65 L.Ed. 1179 (1921); see also People v. Liberta, 64 N.Y.2d 152, 485 N.Y.S.2d 207, 218, 474 N.E.2d 567, 578 (1984), cert. denied, 471 U.S. 1020, 105 S.Ct. 2029, 85 L.Ed.2d 310 (1985); Westinghouse Elec. Corp. v. Tully, 63 N.Y.2d 191, 481 N.Y.S.2d 55, 57, 470 N.E.2d 853, 855 (1984); People v. Mancuso, 255 N.Y. 463, 175 N.E. 177, 180 (1931). When deciding whether to sever, a court should first examine the legislative history to determine legislative intent, and then should evaluate the courses of action available to the court in light of that history. Westinghouse, 481 N.Y.S.2d at 57, 470 N.E.2d at 855. While New York courts generally prefer to sever, if possible, see Alpha Portland Cement, 129 N.E. at 208 ("Our duty is to save, unless in saving we pervert."), ...


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.