1995) ("The duty that Paragraph 12(D)(ix) of the Consent Decree imposed upon the Independent Administrator, to 'hear disputes about the conduct and/or results of elections,' is hereby conferred upon an Election Appeals Master to be appointed by the Court."); Consent Decree P 12(D)(ix) ("Any disputes about the conduct and/or results of elections shall be resolved after hearing by the Administrator.") The Election Rules provide that the Election Appeals Master's Decision "shall be effective and binding as of its issuance unless it is stayed or overturned by the Court." Election Rules, Art. XIV, sec. 2(1). This Court's March 22, 1996, Order states that "parties to an appeal before the Election Appeals Master may seek review by this Court of the Election Appeals Master's decision by filing an appeal of such decision with this Court within fourteen (14) calendar days of issuance of the Election Appeals Master's decision." 921 F. Supp. at 1077.
These various rules prescribe a specific set of procedures for election protests because the oversight of the 1995-96 IBT Elections is a herculean task. To date, the Election Officer has received 1,096 protests, each of which requires a prompt decision. Moreover, the Election Appeals Master has issued 195 written decisions on appeals from decisions of the Election Officer. In order to resolve this vast number of election protests quickly, fairly, efficiently, and in a consistent fashion, it is essential that such protests be directed to the Court-appoint officers who bear the responsibility of ensuring that the 1995-96 IBT Elections are conducted in a fair, open, and honest fashion.
In the instant case, Tusino failed to bring his request for injunctive relief as an appeal from a Decision of the Election Appeals Master. Tusino's allegations are properly the subject of an election protest because Tusino claims that Carey has retaliated against Tusino because of Tusino's "exercise of rights protected by the Rules," Election Rules, Article XIV, section 2(b)(5), namely the right to support, and campaign for, the candidate of his choice. Indeed, apparently recognizing this fact, Tusino filed a protest with the Election Officer. Moreover, Tusino also exercised his rights under the Election Rules by appealing the Election Officer's Decision to the Election Appeals Master. After the Election Appeals Master affirmed the Election Officer's denial of Tusino's protest, however, Tusino did not appeal the Election Appeals Master's Decision to this Court. Rather, eschewing the procedures established by the Election Rules and this Court's March 22, 1996, Order, Tusino sought relief from this Court by pursuing the motion for a preliminary injunction that he had filed before the instant case was transferred to this Court.
Because Tusino's motion for a preliminary injunction is predicated on the claim that Carey has retaliated against Tusino because of Tusino's support of Hoffa, Tusino's failure to bring this claim as an appeal from a Decision of the Election Appeals Master warrants a denial of the requested injunctive relief. Tusino's motion for a preliminary injunction should be denied in order to ensure that the 1995-96 IBT Election process continues in an orderly fashion. As previously stated, to date, the Election Officer has received 1,096 election protests, and the Election Appeals Master has decided 195 appeals. Each of these protests and appeals could form the basis of an application for injunctive relief that would be brought before this Court. This potential deluge of applications would create a grave threat that the 1995-96 IBT Elections would become bogged down in a quagmire of litigation that would hinder the Consent Decree's goal of ensuring fair, open, and honest IBT elections. This Court has established the procedures for bringing election protests in order to avoid this very problem, and litigants who seek equitable relief from this Court should abide by the procedures that this Court has established.
Finally, it must be noted that the papers that plaintiff submitted to this Court do not conform with the Local Rules or this Court's Individual Rules. This Court repeatedly has emphasized the importance of complying with these rules and has rejected papers that fail to comply. Because the instant motion was filed prior to the transfer of the instant case from the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, however, it would be inappropriate to penalize plaintiff for failure to comply with the Local Rules or this Court's Individual Rules. Now that the instant case is before this Court, counsel is advised that all future submissions must comply strictly with the Local Rules and this Court's Individual Rules.
For all the foregoing reasons, plaintiff's Rule 65 motion for a preliminary injunction is DENIED WITH PREJUDICE.
DATED: New York, New York
June 6, 1996
David N. Edelstein