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Civil Rights Action Involving Alleged Use of Fake Police Badges, and Bankruptcy, Criminal, Employment, and Tax Cases

By FindLaw Staff on May 14, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Interworks Sys. Inc. v. Merchant Fin. Corp., No. 08-1425, concerned a complaint-in-intervention by the U.S. seeking unpaid employment taxes from defendant, under New York Lien Law sections 70-79a (Article 3-A).  The court of appeals affirmed the dismissal of the complaint, on the ground that Article 3-A's requirement that there be no prior pending Article 3-A action applied to the U.S. when it brought an action under Article 3-A, and the existence of a pending Article 3-A action required dismissal.

Fincher v. Depository Trust & Clearing Corp., No. 08-5013, involved an employment discrimination action alleging that defendant retaliated against plaintiff by failing to investigate her complaint.  The Second Circuit affirmed summary judgment for defendant, holding that an employer's failure to investigate a complaint of discrimination could not be considered an adverse employment action taken in retaliation for the filing of the same discrimination complaint.

In re: Baker, No. 09-4656, concerned the bankruptcy trustee's appeal from the bankruptcy court's order exempting the proceeds of an annuity from a Chapter 13 bankruptcy estate under New York Debtor and Creditor Law section 282 and New York Insurance Law section 3212.  The court of appeals affirmed, holding that New York law permitted the debtor to exempt the annuity payments, and he gave consideration for the contract when he released a wrongful death claim.

In US v. Needham, No. 06-5652, the court of appeals affirmed in part defendant's Hobbs Act robbery and Hobbs Act conspiracy convictions, on the ground that the interstate commerce element was proven with respect to the defendants' conspiracy convictions, which encompassed cocaine and heroin robberies - substances that necessarily originated out-of-state.  However, the court vacated in part, on the ground that the government presented the jury with no evidence that the marijuana robberies at issue affected interstate commerce in any fashion.

Dickerson v. Napolitano, No. 09-2167, involved a civil rights action arising out of plaintiffs' arrests, incarcerations, and prosecutions for attempting to enter a federal building with objects resembling police badges.  The Second Circuit affirmed summary judgment for defendants, on the grounds that 1) plaintiffs' First Amendment claim was waived because it was not explicitly raised, or supported by facts alleged, in the complaint; 2) plaintiffs' Fourth Amendment claim failed because there was probable cause for their arrests; 3) plaintiffs only had standing to make an as-applied challenge to New York City Administrative Code section 14-107, and that section was not unconstitutionally vague as applied to them; and 4) plaintiffs failed to adequately serve certain defendants with process.

Vaughn v. Airline Pilots Assoc. Int'l., No. 08-4173, concerned an action against an airline pilot's union for breach of the duty of fair representation.  The Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of the complaint, holding that 1) defendants' failure to conduct the audit at issue was not so far outside a wide range of reasonableness as to be irrational; 2) the mere collection of management fees in exchange for services legally rendered did not, without more, evidence an improper motive; and 3) plaintiffs failed to allege a causal connection between defendant's failure to conduct the audit and the termination of plaintiffs' benefit plan.

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