IN THE MATTER OF GINO M. NITTI, PETITIONER-RESPONDENT,
WILLIAM D. "BILL" REILICH, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HIS CAPACITY AS SUPERVISOR OF TOWN OF GREECE, IN HIS CAPACITY AS VICE-CHAIRMAN OF NEW YORK REPUBLICAN STATE COMMITTEE, AND IN HIS CAPACITY AS CHAIRMAN OF MONROE COUNTY REPUBLICAN COMMITTEE, NEW YORK REPUBLICAN STATE COMMITTEE, MONROE COUNTY REPUBLICAN COMMITTEE, TOWN OF GREECE REPUBLICAN COMMITTEE, BRIAN E. MARIANETTI, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HIS CAPACITY AS CHAIRMAN OF TOWN OF GREECE REPUBLICAN COMMITTEE, KIRK A. MORRIS, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HIS CAPACITY AS LEADER OF TOWN OF GREECE REPUBLICAN COMMITTEE, BRETT C. GRANVILLE, RESPONDENTS-APPELLANTS, THOMAS F. FERRARESE, IN HIS CAPACITY AS COMMISSIONER OF MONROE COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS, DOUGLAS E. FRENCH, IN HIS CAPACITY AS COMMISSIONER OF MONROE COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS, COLLEEN ANDERSON, IN HER CAPACITY AS DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OF MONROE COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS, NANCY LEVEN, IN HER CAPACITY AS DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OF MONROE COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS, AND MONROE COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS, RESPONDENTS-RESPONDENTS.
SECREST & EMERY LLP, ROCHESTER (PETER H. ABDELLA OF
COUNSEL), FOR RESPONDENTS-APPELLANTS.
CERULLI MASSARE & LEMBKE, ROCHESTER (MATTHEW R. LEMBKE OF
COUNSEL), FOR PETITIONER-RESPONDENT.
PRESENT: CENTRA, J.P., NEMOYER, TROUTMAN, WINSLOW, AND
from an order and judgment (one paper) of the Supreme Court,
Monroe County (Mark H. Fandrich, A.J.), entered August 16,
2017 in a proceeding pursuant to Election Law article 16. The
order and judgment, insofar as appealed from, denied the
motion of respondents-appellants to dismiss, granted in part
the petition, invalidated the designating petition and
certificates of authorization of respondent Brett C.
Granville for Town of Greece Justice, and directed respondent
Monroe County Board of Elections to strike Brett C.
Granville's name from the certified ballot for the
Republican primary election on September 12, 2017.
hereby ORDERED that the order and judgment insofar as
appealed from is unanimously reversed on the law without
costs, the motion is granted, the petition against
respondents-appellants is dismissed and the third through
fifth and seventh decretal paragraphs are vacated.
Petitioner commenced this proceeding pursuant to Election Law
article 16 seeking, inter alia, to invalidate the designating
petition and certificates of authorization for respondent
Brett C. Granville for the office of Town of Greece Justice.
In his petition, petitioner alleges that, at a meeting in
April 2017, respondent Town of Greece Republican Committee
(Town Committee) endorsed him to be a candidate for the
office of Town of Greece Justice, but a designating petition
was prepared that named Granville in place of him, despite
the fact that Granville had not been endorsed or even
nominated for that office at that meeting. Petitioner alleges
that the Town Committee violated its own rules and the rules
of respondent Monroe County Republican Committee in failing
to circulate a designating petition naming him for the
office. Supreme Court denied the motion of
respondents-appellants (respondents) seeking to dismiss the
petition against them and granted the petition in part.
we reject the contention of respondents that petitioner
lacked standing to commence this proceeding inasmuch as we
conclude that petitioner is an aggrieved candidate within the
meaning of Election Law § 16-102. Petitioner, a member
of the Republican Party, "had a bona fide claim" to
be the Republican Party's candidate for the office in
question and has standing to challenge the Party's
compliance with its own rules (Matter of Fehrman v New
York State Bd. of Elections, 10 N.Y.3d 759, 760; see
Matter of Burkwit v Olson, 87 A.D.3d 1264, 1265).
agree with respondents, however, that the court erred in
denying their motion and in granting the petition in part.
Judicial intervention is warranted only upon " a clear
showing that a party or its leaders have violated th[e]
[Election Law] or the party's own rules adopted in
accordance with law, or otherwise violat[ed] the rights of
party members or the electorate' " (Matter of
Lehrer v Cavallo, 43 A.D.3d 1059, 1061, lv dismissed
in part and denied in part9 N.Y.3d 1001; see Matter
of Valin v Adamczyk, 286 A.D.2d 566, 566, lv
denied96 N.Y.2d ...