Providence County Superior Court No. 2015-340-Appeal. (PC
11-2346) Associate Justice Brian Van Couyghen
Terzian, Pro Se For Plaintiff:
Etie-Lee Z. Schaub, Esq., Robert P. Brooks, Esq. Kenneth B.
Chiavarini, Esq. Julie A. Sacks, Esq. Kennell Meas Sambour,
Esq. For Defendants
Present: Suttell, C.J., Goldberg, Flaherty, Robinson, and
Associate Justice William P. Robinson III
plaintiff, Boghos Terzian, appeals from a June 12, 2015 final
judgment entered following a bench decision in Providence
County Superior Court granting the motions for summary
judgment filed by the defendants, Laborers' International
Union of North America, AFL-CIO, Public Service
Employees' Local Union Number 1033 (the Union) and James
J. Lombardi, in his capacity as Treasurer for the City of
Providence. Mr. Terzian argues on appeal that the hearing
justice erred in granting defendants' motions for summary
judgment because, he contends, the City of Providence could
not suspend and ultimately terminate him for off-duty conduct
and because the Union did not comply with its duty to fairly
reasons set forth in this opinion, we affirm the judgment of
the Superior Court.
it appears from the record that there are some disputed facts
in the instant case, the essential facts are not in dispute.
For our purposes, we need only relate those essential facts.
We rely on the May 28, 2015 bench decision of the hearing
justice as well as other documents contained in the record
for the recitation thereof.
Terzian was hired by the City in 2003. At all times pertinent
to this case, he was a member of the Union. On August 1,
2007, Mr. Terzian was arrested and charged with three counts
of assault with a dangerous weapon and one count of carrying
a pistol without a license. Those charges stemmed from an
incident which transpired in front of Mr. Terzian's home
when he was off-duty. The City suspended Mr. Terzian without
pay the next day-August 2, 2007. The collective bargaining
agreement between the City and the Union (the CBA) provides
for a three-step grievance procedure; additionally, it
provides that if "a grievance is not settled, such
grievance may at the request of the Union, be referred to
[arbitration]." After Mr. Terzian's suspension, a
Union representative filed a grievance with respect to the
suspension. That grievance progressed through the three steps
provided for by the CBA and was ultimately held in abeyance
pending the outcome of the criminal charges against Mr.
12, 2008, a jury found Mr. Terzian guilty of all four
criminal charges, and he was ultimately sentenced to eight
years in prison, with one year to serve and seven years
suspended with probation on each of the four charges, said
sentences to be served concurrently.
October 16, 2008, following Mr. Terzian's conviction and
while he was incarcerated, a pre-termination hearing was
conducted with respect to his job with the City. Mr. Terzian
was not present at the hearing, but a Union representative
and Mr. Terzian's private attorney did appear at the
hearing. Subsequent to that hearing, in a letter dated
October 31, 2008, the City informed Mr. Terzian that his
employment had been terminated; that letter cited his
inability to "report to work and perform [his] job
duties" as the reason for his termination.
Terzian contacted the Union in December of 2008, after he had
been released from prison. On December 9, 2008,
Union filed a second grievance, this time contesting Mr.
Terzian's termination. The Union submitted the new
grievance to all three steps in the grievance ...