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MCDONOUGH v. LOCAL NO. 32-E OF THE SEIU

April 25, 1984

RAYMOND McDONOUGH, individually and as Vice-President of Local 32-E of the SERVICE EMPLOYEES UNION AFL-CIO, Plaintiff, against LOCAL NO. 32-E of the SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION AFL-CIO, HENRY CHARTIER, President and ROBERT CHARTIER, Secretary-Treasurer, Defendants.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: HAIGHT

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

HAIGHT, District Judge:

 Plaintiff Raymond McDonough is currently a vice-president of the defendant Union, Local 32-E of the Service Employees International Union, AFL-CIO. Plaintiff is also a candidate for election as the Union's president. In addition to the Union, the defendants are Henry Chartier, the incumbent president, and Robert Chartier, the incumbent secretary-treasurer. The next election of Union officers is currently scheduled to take place on May 2, 1984.

 On April 16, 1984 plaintiff filed this pre-election suit for injunctive relief. The complaint alleges two causes of action. The first cause of action invokes the provisions of Title II, section 201(c) of the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, 29 U.S.C. § 431(c). (The statute is hereinafter referred to as "LMRDA".) In the first cause of action, the complaint alleges that the Union and its present officers have failed to file the Union's annual financial report for 1983 within the period required by the LMRDA.

 The second cause of action complains of various irregularities and imperfections in respect of defendants' conduct of a membership meeting held for the purpose of nominating candidates for election. It is also alleged, in conclusory fashion, that the actions taken at the meeting in question "are causing irreparable harm to substantial numbers of union members by disenfranchising them from their right to participate in the pending election of officers." Complaint at P24. Subject matter jurisdiction over the second cause of action is said to arise under Title I of the LMRDA, 29 U.S.C. § 411.

 By order to show cause, plaintiff prayed that the defendants be restrained from proceeding with the election:

 ". . . until Local 32-E has filed all reports in compliance with federal statutes and giving members a reasonable opportunity to review the accuracy of said reports and further provide for the proper election of an election committee or in the alternative mandate rules for the members to have a reasonable opportunity to vote, and for such other further relief as this court may deem proper including reasonable attorneys fees." McDonough Affidavit of April 16, 1984 at p. 7.

 Defendants move to dismiss the complaint on the grounds of mootness and lack of subject matter jurisdiction. For the reasons which follow, the motion is granted and the complaint is dismissed.

 I.

 At the hearing, counsel for defendants represented that the Union had filed the financial statement required by the statute with the Department of Labor. A copy of the statement as filed was proffered at the hearing. Counsel for plaintiff thereupon stated that he did not contest the representation of defendants' counsel, and that in consequence plaintiff's claims for relief under Title II of the LMRDA were no longer pressed. In these circumstances, the first cause of action alleged in the complaint is moot.

 II.

 Under the Union's constitution and by-laws, officers are to be elected on May 2, 1984. On April 4 the Union convened a membership meeting to nominate candidates, select an election committee, and consider election procedures. That meeting was held pursuant to Article VII(d) of the constitution, which provides:

 "All regular elections provided for hereunder shall be held under the supervision of an Election Committee consisting of five (5) members who shall be elected by the membership at the same meeting at which nominations are made. The members of the Election Committee shall elect their chairman. Members of the Election Committee shall not be candidates at any regular election."

 Plaintiff is critical of the manner in which defendants conducted the April 4 meeting. Defendants challenge the accuracy of the McDonough affidavit's description of what transpired. But I will accept plaintiff's account for the ...


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