Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, Denies Longshoreman’s Emergent Motion for a Stay of the Commission’s Revocation of His Registration Pending Appeal
August 15, 2012
On August 15, 2012, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, denied the emergent motion by Luis Santos, Jr., for a stay of the Commission’s revocation of his registration to work as a maintenance man, pending his appeal. Santos’s registration was revoked by the Commission on August 6, 2012, after he was determined to be a danger to the public peace or safety within the meaning of the Waterfront Commission Act, following a violent domestic altercation between Santos and the mother of his three children. He was also found to have committed various other offenses in violation of the Act, stemming from his lack of truthfulness when he testified during a Commission interview that he had not used cocaine, but later tested positive for cocaine use.
Santos, represented by attorney George T. Daggett, Esq., argued that he and his family will suffer irreparable harm as a result of his registration being revoked because he is the sole support for his children, and that his inability to work on the waterfront will prevent him from earning his annual income necessary to continue to do so. He also argued that his conduct did not constitute grounds for revocation of his registration because it does not rise to the level of severity required under the Act.
The Court rejected both arguments, finding that a stay of Santos’s registration “will burden the Commission with continuing appellant’s employment pending an appeal that is not reasonably likely to be successful on the merits.” The Court noted the administrative law judge’s findings that Santos had assaulted the mother of his children in such a way that “was terrifying by any objective standard,” and that Santos himself admitted that he caused the victim physical pain. The Court also reiterated the administrative law judge’s findings that “simply because the altercation at issue occurred in a domestic setting, such “explosive anger and destruction of property . . . even with provocation, will never be tolerated in the workplace.” Based on the foregoing the Court found that a balancing of the equities and hardships do not favor Santos, but instead favor the Commission, which has the statutory authority to maintain public
peace and safety on the waterfront. Accordingly, the Court denied Santos’s motion for a stay.
A complete copy of the Court’s Opinion is attached.