Along with their Complaint, plaintiffs filed a motion for a preliminary injunction seeking reinstatement of their memberships so that plaintiffs could participate in Local 138's December 1995, elections. (Letter from Daniel E. Clifton, Esq., to the Honorable David N. Edelstein, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York, at 1 (July 31, 1995).) By letter dated July 31, 1995, however, plaintiffs informed this Court that "the need for a preliminary injunction no longer exists, because a trusteeship was recently imposed on Local 138, and it is unlikely that elections will be held in December 1995." Id. at 1-2. Consequently, the parties submitted a Stipulation that plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction in this case be withdrawn. Id. On August 2, 1995, this Court "So Ordered" the parties' joint Stipulation. Stipulation and Order, Georgopoulos v. International Bhd. of Teamsters, 95 Civ. 5145 (Aug. 2, 1995) ("August 1995 Stipulation"). Because plaintiffs withdrew their motion for preliminary injunction, any arguments raised by plaintiffs in the papers they submitted in support of their motion for preliminary injunction are no longer before this Court.
Defendant IBT disputes the substantive legal claims contained in plaintiffs' Complaint. Defendant denies that plaintiffs were subject to discipline without the due process required under Section 101(a)(5) of the LMRDA. (Answer of International Brotherhood of Teamsters, AFL-CIO, to First Amended Complaint, Georgopoulos v. International Bhd. of Teamsters, 95 Civ. 5145 ("Answer"), at 1 (Aug. 31, 1995).) Defendant further claims: (1) that plaintiffs' complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted; (2) that plaintiffs have failed to exhaust all internal union and other remedies available to them prior to bringing the instant suit; (3) that plaintiffs are entitled to no relief from their claims against defendant; (4) that plaintiffs are not entitled to emotional distress damages for their claims against defendant; and (5) that the relief that plaintiffs seek is inconsistent with the Consent Decree. Id. at 8.
Currently pending before this Court are the parties' cross-motions for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56. Plaintiffs "seek partial summary judgment voiding the improperly imposed discipline insofar as it affects their membership in Local 138." (Memorandum of Law in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment, Georgopoulos v. International Bhd. of Teamsters, 95 Civ. 5145 ("Plaintiffs' Memo"), at 2 (Mar. 4, 1996).) They assert that "in the instant case, there are no genuine issues of material fact, and that plaintiffs are entitled to partial summary judgement" on their due process claim. Id. at 15; see also (Letter from Daniel E. Clifton, Esq., to the Honorable David N. Edelstein, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York (Jan. 10, 1996).) Defendant opposes plaintiffs' summary judgement motion, denies that defendant violated any provision of the LMRDA, and cross-moves for summary judgment on all of plaintiffs' claims. (Defendant's Memo at 3.) Because both parties move this Court pursuant to Rule 56, this Court will review the legal principles governing Rule 56 motions before examining the parties' respective substantive claims.
I. Rule 56
Pursuant to Rule 56, summary judgement is appropriate where "the pleadings, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue of material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). A party seeking summary judgment bears the initial burden of demonstrating the absence of a genuine issue of material fact, Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 157, 26 L. Ed. 2d 142, 90 S. Ct. 1598 (1970); Scottish Air Int'l, Inc. v. British Caledonian Group, PLC., 867 F. Supp. 262, 265 (S.D.N.Y. 1994), and the party may discharge this burden by demonstrating to the Court that there is an absence of evidence to support the non-moving party's case on an issue which that party would have the burden of proof at trial. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323, 91 L. Ed. 2d 265, 106 S. Ct. 2548 (1986). As the Second Circuit has noted, "all ambiguities and inferences to be drawn from the underlying facts should be resolved in favor of the party opposing the motion, and all doubts as to the existence of a genuine issue for trial should be resolved against the moving party." Brady v. Town of Colchester, 863 F.2d 205, 210 (2d Cir. 1988); see also Celotex, 477 U.S. at 330 n.2.
To defeat a motion for summary judgement, the non-moving party must do "more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to material facts." Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586, 89 L. Ed. 2d 538, 106 S. Ct. 1348 (1986); Resolution Trust Corp. v. Hidden Ponds Phase IV Dev. Assocs., 873 F. Supp. 799, 804 (E.D.N.Y. 1995). Instead, the non-moving party must "set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e); Scottish Air, 867 F. Supp. at 266. If the adverse party does not respond to the motion for summary judgement, "summary judgement, if appropriate, shall be entered against the adverse party." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e). Such an entry of summary judgment is inappropriate, however, "where the evidentiary matter in support of the motion does not establish the absence of a genuine issue, . . . even if no opposing evidentiary matter is presented." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e) advisory committee's notes (1963 amendment).
The existence of a genuine issue of material fact depends on both the genuineness and the materiality of the issues raised by the motion. See Scottish Air, 867 F. Supp. at 266. To evaluate a fact's materiality, "it is the substantive law's identification of which facts are critical and which facts are irrelevant that governs." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. 242, 248, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202, 106 S. Ct. 2505 (1986). While "disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of a suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment. Factual disputes that are irrelevant or unnecessary will not be counted." Id. (citations omitted); see Knight v. United States Fire Ins. Co., 804 F.2d 9, 11-12 (2d Cir. 1986), cert. denied, 480 U.S. 932, 94 L. Ed. 2d 762, 107 S. Ct. 1570 (1987). According to the Supreme Court, "all that is required is that sufficient evidence supporting the claimed factual dispute be shown to require a judge or jury to resolve the parties' differing versions of the truth at trial." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249 (quotation omitted).
In the Second Circuit, "summary judgment is not lightly granted, as it deprives the non-moving party of the opportunity for full factual development of the record through trial." Perry v. International Longshoremen's Ass'n, 638 F. Supp. 1441, 1445 (S.D.N.Y. 1986) (citing Jaroslawicz v. Seedman, 528 F.2d 727, 731 (2d Cir. 1975)). Only when "the entire record shows a right to judgment with such clarity as to leave no room for controversy, and establishes affirmatively that the adverse party cannot prevail under any circumstances" should a court grant a party's motion for summary judgment. Id. ; Heyman v. Commerce & Industry Ins. Co., 524 F.2d 1317, 1319-20 (2d Cir. 1975).
II. LMRDA Section 101(a)(5)
In their Complaint, plaintiffs raise several claims, pursuant to LMRDA Section 101(a)(5). Plaintiffs move this Court for summary judgement on three of these claims. (Plaintiffs' Memo at 15-16.) Defendant denies these claims, asserts that it is entitled to summary judgement on them, and moves this Court for summary judgment on the remaining Section 101(a)(5) claims in plaintiffs' Complaint. (Defendant's Memo at 16-18.) A brief review of Section 101(a)(5) provides context for the parties' competing claims.
Section 101(a)(5) of the LMRDA states:
No member of any labor organization may be fined suspended, expelled, or otherwise disciplined except for nonpayment of dues by such organization or by any officer thereof unless such member has been (A) served with written specific charges; (B) given a reasonable time period to prepare his defense; (C) afforded a full and fair hearing.