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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Appeal dismissed after employee fails to prove efforts to exhaust her administrative remedy would have been an exercise in futility


Appeal dismissed after employee fails to prove efforts to exhaust her administrative remedy would have been an exercise in futility
Amorosano-LePore v Grant, 56 AD3d 663

This decision by the Appellate Division illustrates the importance of exhausting administrative remedies before seeking judicial relief.

Gina Amorosano-LePore filed a CPLR Article 78 petition seeking a review of the City of New Rochelle’s decision to terminate her after she was found guilty of the disciplinary filed against her.

Instead of filling its answer to Amorosano-LePore’s petition, the City asked Supreme Court to dismiss the petition because Amorosano-LePore had failed to exhaust her administrative remedies under the collective bargaining agreement between the City and the Civil Service Employee's Association.

Supreme Court granted the City’s motion and Amorosano-LePore appealed.

The Appellate Division sustained the lower court’s ruling, holding that the evidence demonstrated that Amorosano-LePore failed to avail herself of the available administrative remedies provided in the CBA.

While there are some exceptions to the rule requiring the exhaustion of administrative remedies, such as demonstrating that efforts to avail oneself of the available administrative procedures such as those that are set out in a statute or a collective bargaining agreement would be futile and thus excuse such failure to exhaust those remedies, the court said that in Amorosano-LePore's case she failed to prove that her pursuing her administrative remedies provided by the controlling collective bargaining agreement would have been an exercise in futility.

The court also rejected Amorosano-LePore argument that the City’s officials acted beyond the scope of their authority, noting that this directly related to questions of interpretation, application, and enforcement provisions of the CBA and thus was reviewable under the CBA. Similarly, Amorosano-LePore claim that she was deprived of due process the hearing officer’s conduct also could have been addressed through administrative review as provided for in the collective bargaining agreement.

The full text of the decision is posted on the Internet at:


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