AMERICAN FEDN. OF SCH. ADM.v.COUNSEL, ADM

Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, Second DepartmentNov 30, 1999
266 A.D.2d 417 (N.Y. App. Div. 1999)
266 A.D.2d 417698 N.Y.S.2d 893

Argued October 15, 1999

November 30, 1999

In an action to recover damages for breach of contract, the plaintiff appeals from an order of the Supreme Court, Suffolk County (Underwood, J.), dated August 18, 1998, which, inter alia, granted the defendant's cross motion to dismiss the complaint.

Bruce K. Bryant, Brooklyn, N.Y., for appellant.

Paul J. Derkasch, Melville, N. Y., for respondent.

CORNELIUS J. O'BRIEN, J.P., GABRIEL M. KRAUSMAN, ANITA R. FLORIO, SANDRA J. FEUERSTEIN, JJ.


DECISION ORDER

ORDERED that the order is reversed, on the law, with costs, the cross motion is denied, and the matter is remitted to the Supreme Court, Suffolk County, for further proceedings consistent herewith.

The plaintiff American Federation of School Administrators, AFL-CIO, is suing to recover unpaid dues from the defendant Council of Administrators and Supervisors, its local affiliate in Nassau and Suffolk counties. The Supreme Court erred in dismissing the complaint on the ground that the matter must be adjudicated in a Federal court.

The Federal statute which gives Federal District Courts jurisdiction over suits between labor organizations does not deprive State courts of their existing jurisdiction ( see, Charles Dowd Box Co. v. Courtney, 368 U.S. 502; Labor Management Relations Act of 1947 § 301[a], 29 U.S.C. § 185[a]). Moreover, State remedies are not preempted where the activity is of "merely peripheral concern" to the Labor Management Relations Act ( see, Belknap, Inc. v. Hale, 463 U.S. 491, 498-499; Vaca v. Sipes, 386 U.S. 171, 180) or involves purely internal union matters ( see, Tantillo v. McDonald, 223 A.D.2d 168, 170-171; Kaider v. International Union of Operating Engrs. Local 14, 173 A.D.2d 786; Amalgamated Assoc. of Street, Electric Railway Motor Coach Employees of America v. Lockridge, 403 U.S. 274, 296). The defendant has failed to establish that its dispute with the plaintiff over the nonpayment of dues is anything more than an internal union matter.

Since the Supreme Court dismissed the complaint on jurisdictional grounds, it did not determine the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment on the merits. The matter is therefore remitted to the Supreme Court for determination of the motion on the merits ( see, Polera Building Corp. v. New York School Constr. Auth., 262 A.D.2d 295 [2d Dept., June 1, 1999]).

O'BRIEN, J.P., KRAUSMAN, FLORIO, and FEUERSTEIN, JJ., concur.