TIGHE et al v. MERCER COUNTY SHERIFF'S S DEPARTMENT et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION filed. Signed by Judge Mary L. Cooper on 1/5/2015. (mmh)
NOT FOR PUBLICATION
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
CHRISTOPHER TIGHE, et al.,
MERCER COUNTY SHERIFF’S
DEPARTMENT, et al.,
CIVIL ACTION NO. 14-7516 (MLC)
THE COURT ordered the parties to show cause why, inter alia, the action should
not be stayed and administratively terminated. (See dkt. entry no. 3, Order to Show Cause
at 1–5.) The parties should be familiar with — and the Court will not repeat — the
contents of the Order to Show Cause.
THE PLAINTIFF Christopher Tighe (“Tighe”) elected to pursue administrative
remedies concerning his claims under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination
(“NJLAD”) before the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (“NJLAD Remedies”). (See
dkt. entry no. 5, Defs. Br. at 5–6.) The plaintiffs’ counsel argues that Tighe will seek to
withdraw his pursuit of the NJLAD Remedies, but the proceedings for those remedies
remain pending nonetheless. (See dkt. entry no. 6, Pls. Reply Br. at 3.)
THE UNDERLYING DISPUTE insofar as it concerns Tighe’s status as a public
employee is the subject of disciplinary proceedings (“Disciplinary Proceedings”). (See
dkt. entry no. 4, Pls. Resp. at 2–4; Defs. Br. at 6–8, 11–12.) The proper forum for further
review of the Disciplinary Proceedings is the New Jersey state courts.
THE COURT will stay and administratively terminate the action pending the final
resolution of: (1) the NJLAD Remedies, either on the merits or upon Tighe’s withdrawal;
and (2) the Disciplinary Proceedings, including any aspect thereof that should be the
subject of either an appeal or further state review. See Gwynedd Props. v. Lower
Gwynedd Twp., 970 F.2d 1195, 1204 & n.14 (3d Cir. 1992) (stating district court has no
discretion to dismiss, rather than stay, monetary-relief claim that may not be redressed in
state proceeding); Bongiorno v. Lalomia, 851 F.Supp. 606, 610–17 (D.N.J. 1994) (staying
action, rather than dismissing complaint, as monetary-damage claim might not be
resolved in pending state proceeding), aff’d, 39 F.3d 1168 (3d Cir. 1994).
THE PLAINTIFFS are advised to: (1) refrain from moving to reopen the action
until the NJLAD Remedies and the Disciplinary Proceedings are resolved; and (2) submit
the proper documentation in support of that potential motion to reopen, e.g., final orders
disposing of the respective proceedings. The plaintiffs, assuming the Court were to grant
a motion to reopen, must then seek leave to amend their allegations to reflect the
resolution of the NJLAD Remedies and the Disciplinary Proceedings.
FOR GOOD CAUSE APPEARING, the Court will issue an appropriate order
s/ Mary L. Cooper
MARY L. COOPER
United States District Judge
Dated: January 5, 2015
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