Christ the King Regional High School v. Culvert, AFL-CI

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore PIERCE, ALTIMARI, Circuit Judges, and STEWART; PIERCE
Citation815 F.2d 219
Parties124 L.R.R.M. (BNA) 3193, 55 USLW 2561, 106 Lab.Cas. P 12,347, 38 Ed. Law Rep. 880 CHRIST THE KING REGIONAL HIGH SCHOOL, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Edward R. CULVERT, individually and as Chairman of the New York State Labor Relations Board, John J. Fanning, individually and as a member of the New York State Labor Relations Board, New York State Labor Relations Board, an agency of the Department of Labor of the State of New York, Defendants-Appellees, Lay Faculty Association, Local 1261, American Federation of Teachers,efendant-Intervenor. ocket 86-7947.
Docket NumberNo. 787,D,AFL-CI
Decision Date26 March 1987

Page 219

815 F.2d 219
124 L.R.R.M. (BNA) 3193, 55 USLW 2561,
106 Lab.Cas. P 12,347,
38 Ed. Law Rep. 880
CHRIST THE KING REGIONAL HIGH SCHOOL, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
Edward R. CULVERT, individually and as Chairman of the New
York State Labor Relations Board, John J. Fanning,
individually and as a member of the New York State Labor
Relations Board, New York State Labor Relations Board, an
agency of the Department of Labor of the State of New York,
Defendants-Appellees,
Lay Faculty Association, Local 1261, American Federation of
Teachers, AFL-CIO, Defendant-Intervenor.
No. 787, Docket 86-7947.
United States Court of Appeals,
Second Circuit.
Argued Feb. 2, 1987.
Decided March 26, 1987.

Roger S. Kaplan, New York City (Thomas P. Schnitzler, Philip B. Rosen, Jackson, Lewis, Schnitzler & Krupman, New York City, of counsel), for plaintiff-appellant.

Page 220

Evelyn Tenenbaum, Asst. Atty. Gen., New York City (Robert Abrams, Atty. Gen. of the State of New York, Lawrence S. Kahn, Deputy Sol. Gen., New York City, of counsel), for defendants-appellees.

Before PIERCE, ALTIMARI, Circuit Judges, and STEWART, Senior District Judge. *

PIERCE, Circuit Judge:

Christ the King Regional High School ("the School") appeals from an order of summary judgment in favor of the New York State Labor Relations Board, et al. ("SLRB" and "the SLRB defendants"), and the Lay Faculty Association, Local 1261, American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO ("LFA" or "the Union"). The district court dismissed the School's complaint which sought to enjoin the SLRB from asserting jurisdiction over a labor dispute at the School.

The School argues that exercise of jurisdiction by the SLRB would violate the first amendment of the United States Constitution, and, alternatively, that the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA"), 29 U.S.C. Sec. 151 et seq. (1982), preempts the SLRB from exercising jurisdiction. The SLRB defendants assert that an exercise of jurisdiction by it would not violate the first amendment, that the NLRA does not preempt SLRB jurisdiction, and that the district court should have abstained from determining the issues on the merits.

We hold that the NLRA does not preempt the SLRB from exercising jurisdiction over the labor dispute at the School and that the district court should have abstained from determining the first amendment issues on the merits.

BACKGROUND

The facts herein are not in dispute.

Christ the King Regional High School is a secondary school affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church; it is located in Queens County. The School has an enrollment of approximately 1800 pupils and the curriculum includes both secular and religious subjects. In addition to the religiously affiliated staff, the School employs a lay faculty who comprise nearly ninety percent of the teachers employed by the school. With the exception of lay teachers employed to teach religious subjects, lay faculty are employed by the School without regard to their religious beliefs.

The lay faculty has been represented by the LFA since the School became regional in 1976. 1 Since that time, the LFA has negotiated three separate contracts with Christ the King. The last collective bargaining agreement between the School and the Union expired in 1981. At the beginning of the 1981-1982 school year, the teachers went on strike. The striking teachers were discharged and have not since worked for the School.

Between August 1979 and May 1982, the LFA filed four unfair labor practice charges against the School with the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB"). The charges alleged that the School had violated: (1) Sec. 8(a)(1) and (5) of the NLRA, by failing to provide the Union with a copy of its pension plan; (2) Sec. 8(a)(1) and (5) of the NLRA, by unilaterally promulgating a calendar year establishing the days of work for the 1979-1980 school year; (3) Sec. 8(a)(1) and (5) of the NLRA by failing to provide to the Union a list of the names, addresses, salaries, and wages of bargaining unit employees; and (4) Sec. 8(a)(3) and (5) of the NLRA, by terminating striking teachers and refusing to bargain with the Union. The first three charges were settled, and the last charge was withdrawn. On March 26, 1984, the Regional Director of the NLRB closed the case "conditioned upon continued compliance with said Settlement Agreement" and "cautioned that subsequent violations of the National Labor Relations Act may become the basis for further

Page 221

proceedings in the instant case despite its formal closing."

In early 1982, the LFA filed an unfair labor practice charge with the SLRB, alleging that the School violated the New York State Labor Relations Act, N.Y.Lab.Law Sec. 701 et seq. (McKinney 1977) ("SLRA"), by refusing to bargain with, and discharging striking members of, the LFA. In addition to the LFA, 73 teachers who were discharged each filed individual charges with the SLRB, alleging substantially the same violations that the LFA raised.

In February 1982, the SLRB commenced an informal investigation of the unfair labor practice charges filed by the LFA. As part of the investigation, the LFA and School convened at a conference before the SLRB on February 23, 1982, to state their positions regarding the unfair labor practice charges. At the conference, the School stated its objection to the assertion of jurisdiction by the SLRB over the dispute. The School urged that an exercise of jurisdiction over the School by the SLRB would violate the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses of the Constitution, and alternatively, that jurisdiction by the SLRB was preempted by the NLRA. Thereafter, on March 12, 1982, the School filed a memorandum formally stating its opposition to SLRB jurisdiction over the labor dispute at the School, to which the LFA filed an answering memorandum. After considering the arguments and memoranda, the SLRB concluded that it was not precluded from exercising jurisdiction over the labor dispute at the School and that LFA's unfair labor practice charges constituted a prima facie case. Therefore, on October 29, 1982, the SLRB issued and served an unfair labor practice complaint on the School with a notice scheduling a pre-hearing conference on the charges for December 7, 1982, and a hearing on December 17, 1982.

On December 1, 1982, the School moved before the SLRB to dismiss its complaint based on preemption grounds. At the pre-hearing conference, the School renewed its objections to SLRB jurisdiction; and, after the conference, moved to adjourn the December 17, 1982 hearing. On December 10, 1982, the School commenced this action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against the SLRB, its chairman and a member. Thereafter, by order dated January 6, 1983, the SLRB denied the School's motion before it to dismiss the complaint and postponed the hearing "sine die until such time as the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York issues its decision in the action."

In the district court, the School moved for summary judgment pursuant to Rule 56; the LFA intervened and joined the SLRB defendants in their filing of a cross-motion for summary judgment. The district court denied the School's motion, granted the SLRB defendants' and LFA's cross-motion, and dismissed the complaint. 644 F.Supp. 1490. Although the SLRB defendants raised the issue of abstention in their answer as well as in a letter submitted to the court prior to the disposition of the case, 2 the district court declined to abstain and dealt with the issues on the merits. On the merits, the district court determined that the first amendment and preemption issues raised by the School were "identical" to those raised in Catholic High School Association of the Archdiocese of New York v. Culvert, 753 F.2d 1161 (2d Cir.1985), and therein found not to preclude SLRB...

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67 practice notes
  • Reyes v. Erickson, No. 02 Civ. 4406(SHS).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • January 3, 2003
    ...and equal protection issues in this action, can be decided in Article 78 proceedings. See Christ the King Reg. High Sch. v. Culvert, 815 F.2d 219, 224-25 (2d Plaintiffs cannot salvage their Section 1983 claims by invoking the general rule that Section 1983 permits plaintiffs with federal or......
  • Pan American Corp., In re, No. 262
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • December 3, 1991
    ...& Webster Eng'g Corp., 463 U.S. 1220, 103 S.Ct. 3564, 77 L.Ed.2d 1405 (1983); accord Christ the King Regional High School v. Culvert, 815 F.2d 219, 223 n. 4 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 484 U.S. 830, 108 S.Ct. 102, 98 L.Ed.2d 63 (1987); Gilbert v. Burlington Indus., Inc., 765 F.2d 320, 329 (2d ......
  • Neustein v. Orbach, No. 89-CV-3491.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • March 5, 1990
    ...the federal plaintiff had the opportunity to litigate the federal issues in state court. Christ the King Regional High School v. Culvert, 815 F.2d 219, 224 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 484 U.S. 830, 108 S.Ct. 102, 98 L.Ed.2d 63 (1987); Donkor v. City of New York Human Resources Admin., 673 F.Su......
  • Thomas v. New York City, No. CV-92-1316 (CPS).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • February 5, 1993
    ...are able to raise the same claims raised in the federal action in the state forum. Christ the King Regional High School v. Culvert, 815 F.2d 219, 224 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 484 U.S. 830, 108 S.Ct. 102, 98 L.Ed.2d 63 (1987); see also Temple of Lost Sheep Inc. v. Abrams, 930 F.2d 178, 182-8......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
67 cases
  • Reyes v. Erickson, No. 02 Civ. 4406(SHS).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • January 3, 2003
    ...and equal protection issues in this action, can be decided in Article 78 proceedings. See Christ the King Reg. High Sch. v. Culvert, 815 F.2d 219, 224-25 (2d Plaintiffs cannot salvage their Section 1983 claims by invoking the general rule that Section 1983 permits plaintiffs with federal or......
  • Pan American Corp., In re, No. 262
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • December 3, 1991
    ...& Webster Eng'g Corp., 463 U.S. 1220, 103 S.Ct. 3564, 77 L.Ed.2d 1405 (1983); accord Christ the King Regional High School v. Culvert, 815 F.2d 219, 223 n. 4 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 484 U.S. 830, 108 S.Ct. 102, 98 L.Ed.2d 63 (1987); Gilbert v. Burlington Indus., Inc., 765 F.2d 320, 329 (2d ......
  • Neustein v. Orbach, No. 89-CV-3491.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • March 5, 1990
    ...the federal plaintiff had the opportunity to litigate the federal issues in state court. Christ the King Regional High School v. Culvert, 815 F.2d 219, 224 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 484 U.S. 830, 108 S.Ct. 102, 98 L.Ed.2d 63 (1987); Donkor v. City of New York Human Resources Admin., 673 F.Su......
  • Thomas v. New York City, No. CV-92-1316 (CPS).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • February 5, 1993
    ...are able to raise the same claims raised in the federal action in the state forum. Christ the King Regional High School v. Culvert, 815 F.2d 219, 224 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 484 U.S. 830, 108 S.Ct. 102, 98 L.Ed.2d 63 (1987); see also Temple of Lost Sheep Inc. v. Abrams, 930 F.2d 178, 182-8......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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