You're viewing Docket Item 26 from the case BONNER et al v. BRUNO et al. View the full docket and case details.

Download this document:




Case 3:11-cv-02320-MLC-TJB Document 26 Filed 07/11/13 Page 1 of 3 PageID: 67

NOT FOR PUBLICATION



UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY

CIVIL ACTION NO. 11-2320 (MLC)

O P I N I O N



JOSEPH BONNER, et al.,

Plaintiffs,

v.

PHILIP BRUNO, JR., et al.,

Defendants.




PLAINTIFFS’ COUNSEL advised the Court that the defendant Diane

Tozzolo filed a bankruptcy petition on March 28, 2013 (“Bankruptcy

Petition”) in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District

of Maryland (“Maryland Bankruptcy Court”). (See dkt. entry no. 25,

7-1-13 Letter from Pls.’ Counsel to Court at 1.) The Court has

independently confirmed that the Bankruptcy Petition was filed by

Diane Tozzolo Funkhouser, f/k/a Diane Marie Tozzolo. See Voluntary

Pet. at 1, In re Funkhouser, No. 13-15465 (Bankr. D. Md. Mar. 28,

2013), ECF No. 1.

THE FILING of the Bankruptcy Petition triggered an automatic

stay of this action insofar as claims are raised against Tozzolo.

See 11 U.S.C. § 362(a)(1); Maritime Elec. Co., Inc. v. United

Jersey Bank, 959 F.2d 1194, 1203-05 (3d Cir. 1991). The Court will

thus stay and administratively terminate the action insofar as it

has been brought against Tozzolo. Cf. Arpaio v. Dupre, No. 12-

Case 3:11-cv-02320-MLC-TJB Document 26 Filed 07/11/13 Page 2 of 3 PageID: 68

3619, 2013 WL 2150869, at *3 (3d Cir. May 20, 2013) (resolving

appeal, but limiting review of district court’s order to impact

upon defendant who had not filed for bankruptcy relief).

THE COURT will also stay and administratively terminate the

action insofar as claims are raised against the defendant Philip

Bruno, Jr. Such action is taken pursuant to the Court’s inherent

power to control the docket, to serve the interest of judicial

efficiency. See Landis v. N. Am. Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254 (1936);

Rolo v. Gen. Dev. Corp., 949 F.2d 695, 702 (3d Cir. 1991)

(recognizing district court’s “inherent power to control its

docket”).

ADMINISTRATIVE TERMINATION of the action is not the equivalent

of a dismissal with prejudice. See, e.g., Delgrosso v. Sprang &

Co., 903 F.2d 234, 236 (3d Cir. 1990) (noting that administrative

termination, unlike a final order and judgment, “permits

reinstatement and contemplates the possibility of future

proceedings” and “does not purport to end litigation on the

merits”). The administrative termination of this action does not

affect the plaintiffs’ ability to move before the Maryland

Bankruptcy Court for relief from the automatic stay. See Maritime

Elec. Co., 959 F.2d at 1204 (“Only the bankruptcy court with

jurisdiction over a debtor’s case has the authority to grant relief

from the stay of judicial proceedings against the debtor.”)


2

Case 3:11-cv-02320-MLC-TJB Document 26 Filed 07/11/13 Page 3 of 3 PageID: 69

Similarly, it does not affect the plaintiffs’ ability to move to

reopen the action when justice so requires, pursuant to Local Civil

Rule 7.1.

THE COURT, for good cause appearing, will issue a separate

Order.
































s/ Mary L. Cooper
MARY L. COOPER
United States District Judge

Dated:

July 11, 2013




3