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INTERNATIONAL MOLDERS & ALLIED WORKERS v. UNITED F

April 7, 1986

INTERNATIONAL MOLDERS & ALLIED WORKERS, Plaintiffs
v.
UNITED FOUNDRIES, INC., et al., Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: NEALON

 WILLIAM J. NEALON, Chief Judge

 Plaintiffs filed this action on June 27, 1985, alleging essentially that United Foundries, Inc. ("United Foundries") failed to permit plaintiffs to audit United Foundries' records and failed to make contributions to the pension fund as required by a labor contract between the parties. In Count V of the complaint, plaintiffs assert a claim against, inter alia, Defendant Greenberg (Defendant) pursuant to the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law (WPCL). Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss, or in the alternative, for Summary Judgment on August 21, 1985. In his motion, defendant avers that the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the claim, lacks personal jurisdiction over defendant and that Count V fails to state a claim against defendant. See Document 5 of the Record at 2. Defendant filed a supporting affidavit and brief on September 3, 1985 and October 3, 1985, respectively. See Documents 7 and 12 of the Record. By Order dated December 13, 1985, pursuant to defendant's request, the court granted the Motion to Dismiss due to plaintiffs' failure to oppose the motion. See Document 15 of the Record. Pursuant to plaintiffs' motion, in which defendant concurred, by Order dated December 27, 1985, the court vacated the Order of December 13, 1985. See Document 16 of the Record. Plaintiffs filed an opposition brief on December 27, 1985. Defendant filed a reply brief on February 7, 1986. The matter is now ripe for disposition. For the reasons set forth below, defendant's Motion to Dismiss, or in the alternative, for Summary Judgment will be denied.

 DISCUSSION

 A perusal of plaintiffs' complaint demonstrates that plaintiffs' only claim against defendant is found in Count V of the complaint. *fn1" The other counts of the complaint either seek judgment against the company (United Foundries) or its present officers, etc. See e.g., Count I -- Document 1 of the Record at 5. Defendant's affidavit demonstrates that he is no longer an officer or director of United Foundries. See Document 7 of the Record. Thus, subject matter jurisdiction over the claim against defendant must be predicated on this court's "pendent party" jurisdiction. *fn2"

 In Aldinger v. Howard, 427 U.S. 1, 49 L. Ed. 2d 276, 96 S. Ct. 2413 (1976), the United States Supreme Court dealt with the "subtle and complex question" of whether the doctrine of pendent jurisdiction extends to confer jurisdiction over a party as to whom no independent basis of federal jurisdiction exists. Id. at 2-3. The court distinguished United Mine Workers v. Gibbs, 383 U.S. 715, 16 L. Ed. 2d 218, 86 S. Ct. 1130 (1966), stating:

 
but it is quite another thing to permit a plaintiff, who has asserted a claim against one defendant with respect to which there is federal jurisdiction, to join an entirely different defendant on the basis of a state-law claim over which there is no independent basis of federal jurisdiction, simply because his claim against the first defendant and his claim against the second defendant 'derive from a common nucleus of operative fact.'

 Id. at 14 (citation omitted).

 In resolving this issue, the Supreme Court found "as against a plaintiff's claim of additional power over a 'pendent party', the reach of the statute conferring jurisdiction should be construed in light of the scope of the cause of action as to which federal judicial power has been extended by Congress." Id. at 17 (emphasis in original). In so finding, the court held:

 Id. at 18 (emphasis added).

 Plaintiffs assert no federal claim against defendant so that the issue is whether plaintiffs' claim pursuant to the WPCL is properly within this court's subject matter jurisdiction. As defendant avers, assuming arguendo that plaintiffs can assert a claim under the WPCL, see Carpenters Health and Welfare Fund v. Kenneth R. Ambrose, Inc., supra, this court still must determine whether it has subject matter jurisdiction over that claim. See Document 19 of the Record at 6. Subject matter jurisdiction must be established and even a valid claim must fail if subject matter jurisdiction is lacking.

 In making this determination, the court must decide whether "pendent party" jurisdiction can be utilized in this case. "The term 'pendent party' refers to a case where a party, who has asserted a federal claim against one party over which there is jurisdiction, seeks to join an entirely different party on the basis of a state-law claim over which there is no independent basis of federal jurisdiction." Cheltenham Supply Corp. v. Consolidated Rail Corp., 541 F. Supp. 1103, 1105 n.3 (E.D. Pa. 1982). In light of Aldinger v. Howard, supra, our Court of Appeals has suggested a narrower interpretation of pendent party jurisdiction. See Grodjeski v. Township of Plainsboro, 577 F. Supp. 67 (D.N.J. 1983). In fact, in Glus v. G. C. Murphy Co., 562 F.2d 880 (3d Cir. 1977), the court stated, "in Aldinger v. Howard, . . . the Supreme Court cast grave doubts whether ancillary jurisdiction may be extended to situations where there is no independent basis for subject matter jurisdiction over a party." Id. at 886-87. As the Cheltenham court recognized, however, our Court of Appeals has not directly reviewed the issue of pendent party jurisdiction since Aldinger.3 Cf. Kerry Coal Co. v. United Mine Workers, 637 F.2d 957, 965 (3d Cir.), cert. denied, 454 U.S. 823, 70 L. Ed. 2d 95, 102 S. Ct. 109 (1981) (conclusion that LMRA ยง 303(b) jurisdiction is insufficient by itself to sustain pendent state law claim against individual union member may be sound). Similarly, the three tiered analysis enunciated in Aldinger has not been repudiated by the Supreme Court. *fn4" Accordingly, this court is constrained to follow the Aldinger analysis.

 This court previously utilized the three-step process set forth in Aldinger to ascertain whether pendent party jurisdiction should be exercised in light of this narrow interpretation. See Wilkes-Barre Publishing Co. v. Newspaper Guild, etc., 504 F. Supp. 54 (M.D. Pa. 1980), modified on other grounds, 647 F.2d 372 (3d Cir. 1981), cert. denied, 454 U.S. 1143, 102 S. Ct. 1003, 71 L. Ed. 2d 295 (1982). *fn5" First, the court must consider whether there is constitutional power to entertain the state law claim. Id. at 63. Secondly, it must be determined whether the Congressional statute conferring jurisdiction over the federal claim expressly or by implication negates the exercise of jurisdiction over the particular ...


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