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Fraternal Order of Police Delaware Lodge 10 v. State

Court of Chancery of Delaware

December 7, 2017

Fraternal Order of Police Delaware Lodge 10
v.
State of Delaware

          Ronald Stoner, Esquire, Ronald Stoner, P.A.

          Ryan P. Connell, Esquire Deputy Attorney General State of Delaware Department of Justice.

          Tamika R. Montgomery-Reeves Vice Chancellor.

         Dear Counsel:

         This letter opinion addresses Defendant's Motion for Reargument of this Court's October 2, 2017 Letter Opinion denying Defendant's Motion to Dismiss (the "Letter Opinion"). For the reasons stated herein, Defendant's Motion for Reargument is DENIED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The Letter Opinion denied Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Petition to Enforce an Arbitration Award. The Motion to Dismiss sought "a declaration from this Court that the term 'make whole' as used in the Arbitration Award requires an offset of interim earnings be applied to the amount of back-pay awarded to Grievant."[1] I denied the Motion to Dismiss because Defendant could not meet the requirements under the Federal Arbitration Act (the "FAA") to allow the Court to interpret, modify, or remand the Arbitration Award.[2]

         In the Letter Opinion, I applied the standard from the FAA. Defendant did not articulate a standard in its opening brief; Plaintiff argued the FAA applies to this case in its opposition brief; and Defendant did not dispute that the FAA applies in its reply brief or at oral argument. Furthermore, Defendant did not once reference the collective bargaining agreement (the "CBA") or cite to a single Delaware case applying the standard it now claims applies.

         On October 9, 2017, however, Defendant brought this Motion arguing that the FAA does not apply in this case. Ultimately, Defendant is correct. Nonetheless, I deny the Motion for Reargument because even under the correct standard the outcome remains the same.

         II. ANALYSIS

         Under Court of Chancery Rule 59(f), a party may move for reargument within five days after the filing of the Court's opinion.[3] Reargument will be granted only where the court "overlooked a decision or principle of law that would have controlling effect or . . . misapprehended the facts or the law so the outcome of the decision would be different."[4]

         Defendant argues this Court overlooked a principle of law that would have a controlling effect on the case. That is, Defendant contends that because this dispute involves a collective bargaining agreement, neither the FAA nor the Delaware Uniform Arbitration Act (the "DUAA") applies to this case under Section 5725 of the DUAA, which reads:

Notwithstanding anything contained in this chapter by word or inference to the contrary, this chapter shall not apply to labor contracts with either public or private employers where such contracts have been negotiated by, or the employees covered thereby are represented by, any ...

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