United States District Court, Southern District of New York
July 23, 1990
JOINT COUNCIL 73, ET AL., PLAINTIFF,
INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS, CHAUFFEURS, WARE. HOUSEMEN AND HELPERS OF AMERICA AND CHARLES M. CARBERRY, INVESTIGATIONS OFFICER, DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Edelstein, District Judge:
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Plaintiff filed this action, related to United States v.
International Brotherhood of Teamsters, 88 Civ. 4486 (DNE) (the
"underlying suit") seeking injunctive and declaratory relief.
Defendant Carberry moved to dismiss the complaint pursuant to
Fed.R. Civ.Pro. 12(b)(6). For reasons to be discussed below,
defendant's motion is granted.
The United States of America (the "Government") brought the
underlying suit on June 28, 1988, charging the International
Brotherhood of Teamsters (the "IBT"), members of its General
Executive Board (the "GEB"), and others with civil RICO
violations, principally facilitating La Cosa Nostra's
continuing influence over the IBT. The underlying suit was
settled by entry of a consent order dated March 14, 1989 (the
"Consent Decree"), which created a remedial scheme by amending
certain election and disciplinary provisions of the IBT
constitution. The Consent Decree provided for the appointment
of three Court officers to oversee its implementation; the
Independent Administrator, the Election Officer, and the
Investigations Officer. Instant plaintiffs Joint Council 73 and
Local 641 are subordinate entities of the IBT. Instant
defendant Carberry is the court appointed Investigations
The instant matter has an involved procedural history. On
December 4, 1989, defendant Carberry, in his capacity as the
court-appointed Investigations Officer, served upon Joint
Council 73 and Local 641 demands to inspect their respective
books and records pursuant to his authority under ¶
F.12.(C)(i)(a) of the Consent Decree. On December 8, 1989,
plaintiffs brought this action in United States District Court
for the District of New Jersey (the "New Jersey court") to
enjoin the Investigations Officer from examining their books
On December 15, 1989, the Government requested and this Court
issued a temporary restraining order pursuant to the All Writs
Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651, barring the plaintiffs from prosecuting
the instant action in any forum other than the Southern
District of New York. On January 17, 1990, this Court issued an
opinion and order permanently enjoining any litigation
concerning the Consent Decree in any forum other than the
Southern District of New York. See January 17, 1990 Opinion and
Order, 728 F. Supp. 1032, 1039 (S.D.N. Y. 1990), aff'd
907 F.2d 277 (2d Cir. 1990).
The instant plaintiffs neither dismiss their suit in the New
Jersey court nor transfered that action to the Southern
District of New York. See January 17 Order, supra, 728 F. Supp.
at 1058, aff'd 907 F.2d 277 (2d Cir. 1990). On December 14,
1989, the Investigations Officer moved the New Jersey court to
transfer the instant case to the Southern District of New York.
On December 20, 1989, the New Jersey court stayed that motion
pending the outcome of the All Writs Act litigation before this
Court. On January 18, 1990, the Investigations Officer informed
the New Jersey court of this Court's January 17, 1990 Order. On
February 15, 1990, the New Jersey court granted the
Investigations Officer's motion to transfer venue to this
On April 2, 1990, the Investigations Officer filed the
instant motion to dismiss plaintiffs' complaint in its
entirety. Plaintiffs opposed the instant motion, and moved for
recusal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 455(a). In a Memorandum and
Order dated April 2, 1990, this Court denied plaintiffs'
Plaintiffs' complaint seeks (1) an injunction barring the
Investigations Officer from examining their books and records;
and (2) a declaratory judgment that the demand for production
under ¶ F.12.(C)(i)(a) violates the IBT constitution and that
plaintiffs are not obligated to comply with the discovery
It is well-settled in this circuit that in considering a
motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.Pro. 12(b)(6), the
court should view the complaint in the light most favorable to
the plaintiff. I have, and find that in this instance,
plaintiffs' allegations are specifically precluded by
determinations of this Court and the Court of Appeals for the
Second Circuit regarding the underlying suit. See November 2,
1989 Memorandum and Order, 725 F. Supp. 162 (S.D.N.Y. 1989),
aff'd 905 F.2d 610 (2d Cir. 1990); January 17, 1990 Order,
supra, aff'd 907 F.2d 277 (2d Cir. 1990); March 13, 1990
Opinion and Order, 735 F. Supp. 506 (S.D.N.Y. 1990) aff'd
905 F.2d 610 (2d Cir. 1990); April 9, 1990 Memorandum and
Order, 735 F. Supp. 519 (S.D.N.Y. 1990).
In the complaint, plaintiffs' two counts are predicated on
the assertion that Joint Council 73 and Local 641 are
autonomous entities and not bound by the Consent Decree's
changes to the IBT constitution. Plaintiffs contend that they
were not parties to the underlying suit, so they cannot be
bound by the Consent Decree. As a result, plaintiffs argue, the
Investigations Officer has no authority to demand any
production. Further, plaintiffs argue that ¶ F.12.(C)(i)(a) of
the Consent Decree violates the IBT constitution.
Plaintiffs cannot in good faith claim that they are not bound
by the disciplinary portions of the Consent Decree. This
assertion contravenes specific rulings by this Court that all
members and subordinate entities of the IBT are bound by the
disciplinary provisions of the Consent Decree. See November 2,
1989 Order, supra, 725 F. Supp. at 168-69, aff'd 905 F.2d 610
(2d Cir. 1990); see also January 17 Order, supra, 728 F. Supp.
at 1048-1057, aff'd 907 F.2d 277 (2d Cir. 1990); April 9, 1990
order, supra. The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
upheld this Court's determination that the disciplinary
provisions of the Consent Decree were binding on the entire
IBT, including subordinate entities that were non-parties to
the underlying suit. See 905 F.2d at 622-23.
The IBT defendants in the underlying suit had the power under
Article XXVI, § 2, of the IBT constitution to make the Consent
Decree's disciplinary changes - including ¶ F.12.(C)(i)(a) — a
part of the IBT constitution. See id. at 623; see also January
17 Order, supra, 728 F. Supp. at 1056-57. The Court of Appeals
ruled that "the IBT merely exercised its discretionary
authority under the [IBT] constitution to delegate the
investigation and discipline of union misconduct to the
court-appointed officers." 905 F.2d at 623. The legitimacy of
the Consent Decree's disciplinary provisions is beyond doubt.
By their own constitutions, both Joint Council 73 and Local
641 must accede to valid provisions of the IBT constitution.
See Article XXI, By-Laws of Joint Council 73; Article XXIV,
Constitution and By-Laws of Local 641. Plaintiffs are obligated
to comply with the disciplinary changes of the Consent Decree
because the IBT has the power to investigate and discipline all
portions of the IBT. Indeed, the IBT's own position is that
paragraph F.12.(C)(a)(i) of the Consent Decree requires its
subordinate entities to allow the Investigations Officer access
to their books and records. The IBT wrote this Court that
"Paragraph 12.(C)(i) of the Consent Order authorizes the
Investigations Officer to have access to information which may
be in the possession of the IBT or its members . . ." Response
of IBT to Application IX of the Independent Administrator,
February 1, 1990, at 1.
Each of plaintiffs' other contentions in opposition to the
instant motion raise issues that have also previously been
decided by this Court. Plaintiffs argue that under Martin v.
Wilks, ___ U.S. ___, 109 S.Ct. 2180, 104 L.Ed.2d 835 (1989),
since they were not joined as indispensable parties to the
underlying suit, they cannot be bound by the Consent Decree.
This argument was twice rejected by this Court, see November 2,
1989 Order, supra, 725 F. Supp. at 168-69; January 17 Order,
supra, 728 F. Supp. at 1048-56, and by the Court of Appeals, 905
F.2d at 622-23. As a related argument, plaintiffs contend that
this Court's failure to join the subordinate entities as
indispensable parties precludes their being bound by the
Consent Decree. This argument was similarly rejected in the
January 17, 1990 Order. See January 17, 1990 Order, supra, 728
F. Supp. at 1049-50, aff'd 907 F.2d 277 (2d Cir. 1990).
Finally, plaintiffs' argument that the December 4, 1989
demand for production was beyond the scope of that authorized
by the IBT constitution is meritless. The production demand by
the Investigations Officer was within the scope of ¶
F.12.(C)(i)(a) of the Consent Decree, which authorizes the
Investigations Officer to examine the "books and records of the
IBT and its affiliates."
As made clear by this review of previous court rulings and
plaintiffs' arguments, plaintiffs are bound by the disciplinary
provisions of the Consent Decree, including the power of the
Investigations Officer to examine its books and records
pursuant to ¶ F.12.(C)(i)(a). As a result, plaintiffs'
complaint does not state a cause of action upon which relief
may be granted.
For the reasons discussed above, the Investigations Officer's
motion to dismiss the complaint is granted. It is hereby
ordered that the complaint be dismissed with prejudice. The
stay of discovery is hereby dissolved.
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