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CHIECO v. INTERNATIONAL BHD. OF TEAMSTERS

September 12, 1997

KENNETH CHIECO, on behalf of himself and all similarly situated Members of Local 1034, I.B.T., and JAMES LEAHY, BRUCE KAPP, RICHARD MEROLA, GLORIA CAROTENUTO, JOSEPH MATTIOLA, JOSEPH CHALOUPKA AND BRIAN MILOSKY in their capacities as Officers and Executive Board Members of Local 1034, I.B.T., Plaintiffs,
v.
INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS, RONALD CAREY, in his capacity as President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and EUGENE MANEY, in his capacity as temporary Trustee of Local 1034, I.B.T., Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: EDELSTEIN

 EDELSTEIN, District Judge :

 This opinion emanates from the voluntary settlement of an action commenced by the United States of America against, inter alia, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters ("IBT") and the IBT's General Executive Board. The settlement is embodied in the voluntary consent order entered March 14, 1989 ("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 including the 1991 election for IBT International Union Office. In the second phase of the Consent Decree, the IA was replaced by a three-member Independent Review Board ("IRB").

 The Consent Decree, during its more than eight-year history, has generated an enormous amount of litigation that has required this Court to issue numerous opinions. In one such opinion, this Court, pursuant to its authority under the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651(a), enjoined "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 United States v. International Bhd. of Teamsters [All Writs Decision], 728 F. Supp. 1032 (S.D.N.Y.), modification denied, 735 F. Supp. 502 (S.D.N.Y.), aff'd, 907 F.2d 277 (2d Cir. 1990).

 On August 28, 1997, plaintiffs, Local Union 1034 of the IBT ("Local 1034"), located in New York, New York, and its officers and Executive Board ("plaintiffs"), filed an action against defendants, IBT, Ron Carey ("Carey"), in his capacity as General President of IBT, and Eugene Maney ("Maney"), in his capacity as temporary trustee of Local 1034, challenging an emergency trusteeship imposed over Local 1034 by Carey in response to a recommendation by the IRB. See IRB Trusteeship Recommendation Concerning Local 1034 (Aug. 4, 1997)("IRB Report"). Plaintiffs' moved this Court, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65 ("Rule 65"), to issue an order to show cause and a temporary restraining order enjoining defendants from continuing the imposed emergency trusteeship and reinstating the individual plaintiffs to their positions as officers and Executive Board members of Local 1034. The request for an order to show cause was denied but a preliminary injunction hearing was scheduled for September 9, 1997. As a result, this Court heard oral argument relating to plaintiffs Rule 65 motion and reserved opinion. After reviewing the arguments advanced by each party in its respective statements to this Court and submissions, this Court finds that plaintiffs' application for a preliminary injunction is denied.

 FACTS

 This is an action to enjoin the continuation of the emergency trusteeship imposed by the IBT over Local 1034 upon the recommendation of the IRB. Pursuant to its authority under the Consent Decree and the IBT Constitution, the IRB conducted an investigation of Local 1034, its officers and Executive Board. (Amended Complaint at 9.) On August 4, 1997, upon completion of its investigation, the IRB issued the IRB Report to the IBT.

 Following receipt of the IRB Report, by letter dated August 18, 1997, Carey issued a Notice to the officers and members of Local 1034 imposing an emergency trusteeship over Local 1034 effective August 20, 1997. (Amended Complaint at 11.) Pursuant to the powers vested in the General President by Article VI, Section 5 of the IBT Constitution, Carey appointed Maney to serve as temporary trustee over the affairs of Local 1034. (Amended Complaint at 12.)

 In response plaintiffs brought an action claiming a violation of (1) Article VI, Section 5 of the IBT Constitution, (2) Sections 302 and 304 of the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act ("LMRDA"), 29 U.S.C. §§ 462 and 464, and (3) Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act ("LMRA"), 29 U.S.C. § 185. Plaintiffs argue that this Court should issue a preliminary injunction pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. Rule 65 restraining and enjoining the continuation of the emergency trusteeship and reinstating the individual plaintiffs to their positions as officers and Executive Board members of Local 1034.

 DISCUSSION

 In deciding plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction pursuant to Rule 65, this Court considered two issues: (1) the standard for issuing a preliminary injunction lifting an emergency trusteeship under relevant Second Circuit case law, the LMRA, and the LMRDA; and (2) the propriety of the General President's decision to impose an emergency trusteeship on Local 1034. For the reasons set forth below, this Court finds that (1) the applicable standard for preliminary injunctive relief lifting an international union's imposition of a trusteeship is the same as in those cases in which a trusteeship was sought to be enforced by injunction; and (2) Carey's decision to impose an emergency trusteeship over Local 1034 was proper according to the Second Circuit's standard for issuing a preliminary injunction enforcing an emergency trusteeship on a local union.

 I. Issuance of Preliminary Injunction

 Plaintiffs seek a preliminary injunction enjoining defendants from continuing the emergency trusteeship imposed on Local 1034. Because the standard for issuing a preliminary injunction to lift the imposition of a labor union trusteeship differs from the preliminary injunction standard applicable in most other cases, this Court ...


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