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UNITED STATES v. INTERNATIONAL BHD. OF TEAMSTERS

January 19, 1996

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff, - against - INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS, CHAUFFEURS, WAREHOUSEMEN AND HELPERS OF AMERICA, AFL-CIO, et al., Defendants. IN RE: GOVERNMENT'S APPLICATION TO ENJOIN PLAINTIFFS IN ERBACCI, et al.
v.
UNITED STATES, et al, 95 C. 3171, FROM PROSECUTING THAT CASE IN ANY COURT OR FORUM OTHER THAN THIS COURT


David N. Edelstein, U.S.D.J.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: EDELSTEIN

OPINION & ORDER

EDELSTEIN, District Judge:

 This opinion emanates from the voluntary settlement of an action commenced by United States of America against the International Brotherhood of Teamsters ("the IBT" or "the Union") and the IBT's General Executive Board. This settlement was embodied in the voluntary consent order entered March 14, 1989 ("the Consent Decree"). The goal of the Consent Decree is to rid the IBT of the hideous influence of organized crime through a two-phased implementation of the Consent Decree's various remedial provisions. In the first phase of the Consent Decree, these provisions provided for three court-appointed officers: the Independent Administrator to oversee the Consent Decree's provisions, the Investigations Officer to bring charges against corrupt IBT members, and the Election Officer to supervise the electoral process that led up to and included the 1991 election for International Union Office. In the second phase of the Consent Decree, the Independent Administrator was replaced by a three-member Independent Review Board ("the IRB").

 During its six-year history, the Consent Decree has spawned a tremendous amount of litigation that has required this Court to issue numerous opinions. In one of those opinions, pursuant to this Court's authority under the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651(a), this Court enjoined all "all local unions, joint councils, area conferences, and other entities subordinate to or affiliated with the IBT, and any members, officers, representatives, agents and employees of the IBT or any such IBT affiliated entity, from filing or taking any legal action that challenges, impedes, seeks review of or relief from, or seeks to prevent or delay any act of any of the court officers appointed by this Court pursuant to the Consent Order in this action, in any court or forum in any jurisdiction except this Court[.]" December 15, 1989, Order at 3; see also January 17, 1990, Opinion & Order, 728 F. Supp. 1032 (S.D.N.Y.) ("All Writs Act Decision"), modification denied, 735 F. Supp. 502 (S.D.N.Y.), aff'd, 907 F.2d 277 (2d. Cir. 1990).

 In the instant motion, brought pursuant to this Court's All Writs Act Decision, the Government seeks to enjoin plaintiffs in Erbacci, et al. v. United States, et al., 95 C. 3171 (N.D. Ill.) ("Erbacci"), which is an action filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, from pursuing that action in any court or forum in any jurisdiction except this Court.

 BACKGROUND

 The Erbacci plaintiffs ("plaintiffs") *fn1" are two individuals, one law firm, and one insurance company that provided legal representation and insurance services to IBT Locals 738, 726, and 727. (Erbacci et al. v. United States, et. al., 95 C. 3171 (N.D. Ill.), Complaint ("Complaint") PP 1-3, 17-21.) Plaintiff Anthony G. Erbacci ("Erbacci") "is a citizen of the State of Illinois [and] is licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois." Id. P 2. Plaintiff Jack P. Cerone ("Cerone") is a citizen of Illinois and is an attorney licensed to practice in Illinois. Id. P 3. Cerone also "is the sole proprietor of and does business as Marble Insurance Agency." Id. Plaintiff Erbacci, Cerone, and Moriarty is a law firm that is the successor-in-interest to Erbacci, Syracuse & Cerone, Ltd, which was a law firm--apparently organized as a limited partnership--in which both Erbacci and Cerone were shareholders. Id. PP 1-3. Plaintiff Marble Insurance Agency is the insurance agency owned and operated by plaintiff Cerone. Id. P 3. The Erbacci defendants ("defendants") *fn2" are: (1) the United States of America ("the Government"); (2) the IBT; (3) Charles M. Carberry ("Carberry"), who is the Investigations Officer under the Consent Decree; (4) Frederick B. Lacey ("Lacey"), who is a member of the IRB; (5) IBT Joint Council 25; (6) IBT Local 738; (7) IBT Local 726; and (8) IBT Local 727. Id. PP 4-11.

 Plaintiffs contend that they previously provided legal and insurance services to IBT Locals 738, 726, and 727 ("the Locals"). Plaintiffs assert that they provided legal services to Local 738, "including organizing efforts and day-to-day business." Id. P 17. Plaintiffs claim that they also provided legal services to Local 726, including "negotiations with several municipalities." Id. P 18. Plaintiffs assert that Cerone sold insurance to IBT Local 727.

  Plaintiffs contend that defendants improperly interfered with plaintiffs business relationships with Locals 738, 726, and 727. Plaintiffs assert that defendants informed Locals 738 and 727 that plaintiffs had ties with organized crime. Id. PP 32-41. Plaintiffs state that in January 1986, Cerone's father "was convicted of conspiracy to promote racketeering enterprise [sic], and interstate fraud or communication in aid of racketeering, and has been identified as a member of La Cosa Nostra." Id. P 24. Plaintiffs claim that Carberry "initiated an investigation regarding plaintiff Jack P. Cerone and informed Defendant [IBT] Local 738 and others regarding this investigation." Id. P 32. Plaintiffs assert that the IBT wrote to Local 738, stating that Cerone was associated with organized crime. Id. P 34. Plaintiffs further contend that FBI Supervisory Special Agent Duncan J. Wainwright wrote a letter to the IBT, stating that the IBT's "contacts with Jack P. Cerone violated the Consent Decree." Id. P 37. Plaintiffs state that on June 30, 1993, Local 738 wrote a letter to plaintiffs, terminating their services "due to the 'unresolved allegations' concerning plaintiff Jack P. Cerone." Id. P 39. Likewise, plaintiffs claim that on July 1, 1993, "Local 727 sent a letter to plaintiff Marble Insurance Agency severing the insurance business relationship between Plaintiff Marble Insurance Agency and Defendant . . . Local 727." Id. P 40. Moreover, plaintiffs assert that at an unspecified time in July 1993, "Local 726 severed its attorney-client relationship with Plaintiffs Erbacci, Syracuse & Cerone, Ltd., Anthony G. Erbacci and Jack P. Cerone due to the allegations against Plaintiff Jack P. Cerone." Id. P 41.

 Plaintiffs claim that defendants improperly failed to provide plaintiffs with "the opportunity to respond [to] or answer the allegations" and that defendants improperly failed to provide plaintiffs with a hearing. Id. In "Count I" of their complaint, plaintiffs allege that defendants' actions violated plaintiffs' rights of free association, guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Id. PP 43-46. Plaintiffs further allege that defendants' actions violated plaintiffs' right to substantive and procedural due process and their right to confront their accusers, as guaranteed, respectively, by the Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the United States Constitution. Id. PP 47-48. As a remedy for these alleged constitutional violations, plaintiffs seek a temporary and permanent injunction, enjoining defendants from violating plaintiffs' constitutional rights, enjoining defendants "from interfering with . . . Plaintiffs' contracts, business relationships and prospective relationships", and enjoining defendants "from applying the terms of the Consent Decree to Plaintiffs." Id. P 56.

 In "Count II" of their complaint, plaintiffs reiterate the alleged constitutional violations discussed in "Count I." Id. at 20. *fn3" As a remedy for these alleged constitutional violations, plaintiffs seek $ 249,750 in damages. Id. at 22.

 In "Count III" of their complaint, plaintiffs again reiterate the alleged constitutional violations discussed in "Count I." Id. at 23. As a remedy for these alleged violations, plaintiffs seek a declaratory judgment that: (1) defendants violated plaintiffs' First Amendment rights; (2) defendants violated plaintiffs' Fifth Amendment rights; (3) defendants violated plaintiffs' Sixth Amendment rights; (4) it is unconstitutional to apply the Consent Decree to non-members of the IBT; (5) the Consent Decree cannot be enforced against non-members of the IBT; (6) "the United States of America cannot use the terms of the Consent Decree to control the actions of [the IBT] and its Local as they relate to [non-members of the IBT]"; (7) the Government, the IBT, Carberry, Lacey, and Joint Counsel 25 tortiously interfered with plaintiffs "contracts, business relationships and prospective relationships." Id. at 27-28.

 DISCUSSION

 This Court retains exclusive jurisdiction over matters arising under the Consent Decree. See Consent Decree, PP A.1, K.16. Pursuant to an application by the Government, on December 15, 1989, this Court issued an Order requiring "any and all [IBT] local unions, joint councils, and area conferences affiliated with the IBT" to appear before this Court and show cause:

 
why this Court should not enter an Order, pursuant to the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651, and this Court's inherent equity powers, . . . enjoining all local unions, joint councils, area conferences, and other entities subordinate to or affiliated with the IBT, and any members, officers, representatives, agents and employees of the IBT or any such IBT affiliated entity, from filing or taking any legal action that challenges, impedes, seeks review of or relief from, or seeks to prevent or delay any act of any of the court officers appointed by this Court pursuant to the Consent Order in this action, in any court or forum in any jurisdiction except this Court[.]

 December 15, 1989, Order at 3. This Order also temporarily enjoined all IBT "local unions, joint councils, area conferences and other entities affiliated with the IBT . . . from filing or taking any legal action that challenges, impedes, seeks review of or relief from, or seeks to prevent or delay any act of any of the court officers appointed by this Court pursuant to the Consent [Decree]." Id. at 4. After reviewing the 70 briefs that were submitted on behalf of 282 IBT Locals, 20 IBT Joint Councils, and two state conferences, see January 17, 1990, Opinion & Order, 728 F. Supp. at 1040, this Court issued an Opinion and Order. Id. In that Opinion and Order, this Court granted the "Government's request for a permanent injunction pursuant to the All Writs Act," id. at 1058, thereby "enjoining all local unions, joint councils, area conferences, and other entities subordinate to or affiliated with the IBT, and any members, officers, representatives, agents and employees of the IBT or any such IBT affiliated entity, from filing or taking any legal action that challenges, impedes, seeks review of or relief from, or seeks to prevent or delay any act of any of the court officers appointed by this Court pursuant to the Consent Order in this action, in any court or forum in any jurisdiction except this Court[.]" December 15, 1989, Order at 3.

 In the All Writs Act Decision, this Court cited three reasons why such actions must be brought before this Court. "First, there exists a significant risk of subjecting the Consent Decree to inconsistent interpretations and the Court Officers to inconsistent judgments." 728 F. Supp. at 1047. Such inconsistent interpretations of the Consent Decree "would encourage forum shopping by subordinate entities seeking a sympathetic ruling." Id. Second, "widespread litigation across the country would subvert the reform by bogging the Court officers down in duplicative, harassing, and perhaps frivolous litigation." Id. "Third, judicial economy demands that similar issues not be litigated multiple times in different districts. . . ." Id. at 1048.

 The Government claims that the Erbacci litigation implicates the Consent Decree in several ways. The Government asserts that the plaintiffs' action for a declaratory judgment implicates the Consent Decree because plaintiffs seek a declaration that "(1) the Consent Decree is unconstitutional as applied to them, (2) the Consent Decree should not be interpreted to apply to them, and (3) the Government may not use the Consent Decree to control IBT affiliates' relationship[s] with plaintiffs." (Government's Memo at 2.) The Government further argues that the Erbacci litigation implicates the Consent Decree because plaintiffs "allege that the actions of the court-appointed officers violated their constitutional rights," and plaintiffs name Carberry and Lacy as defendants. Id. Thus, the Government asserts that this Court's All Writs Act Decision extends to the Erbacci litigation because that litigation seeks to challenge the constitutionality of the Consent Decree, the scope of the Consent Decree, and the propriety of actions taken by officers appointed pursuant to the Consent Decree. Id. at 7. The Government further argues that even if the All Writs Act Decision does not enjoin plaintiffs from bringing the Erbacci litigation in any forum other than this Court, this Court should issue a new injunction pursuant to the All ...


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