Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

UNITED STATES v. INTERNATIONAL BHD. OF TEAMSTERS

October 14, 1997

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiffs, against INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS, et al., Defendants.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: EDELSTEIN

 EDELSTEIN, District Judge :

 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).

 The instant case is an action to enjoin Defendants from: (1) refusing to deliver and return all IBT Local Union 918 ("Local 918") property in their possession, custody or control to Eugene P. Maney as Trustee of Local 918; (2) representing themselves as authorized officers and/or representatives of Local 918, unless so authorized by the Trustee; (3) interfering with the conduct of the emergency trusteeship; (4) refusing to provide a complete accounting of the financial condition of Local 918 and its funds to the Trustee, and refusing to provide all financial records and explanations for all receipts, disbursements, and financial transactions of any kind by Local 918; (5) destroying, removing, secreting, or altering any property of Local 918; and (6) litigating the action known as Local 918, et al. v. IBT, 97 Civ. 5708 (CPS) (E.D.N.Y.) or any other action or proceeding challenging or relating to the Trusteeship of Local 918 in any court or forum other than this Court.

 FACTS

 Pursuant to its authority under the Consent Decree the IRB conducted an investigation of Local 918. On September 16, 1997, upon completion of the investigation, the IRB issued the IRB Trusteeship Recommendation Concerning Local 918 ("IRB Report") to the IBT. The IRB Report charged that the Executive Board of Local 918 "has engaged in a pattern of conduct which violates the IBT Constitution and prevents the membership from obtaining information and exercising their rights." IRB Report, at 1. Specifically, the IRB found that: (1) the Executive Board of Local 918 failed to adopt and operate under Bylaws approved by its members and the international as required by the IBT Constitution; (2) the leadership failed to regularly hold membership meetings and, from July 1992 to the present, held only eight general membership meetings at which a quorum of 15 members were met; (3) the Executive Board entered into questionable and improper financial arrangements, and had granted themselves salary increases, bonuses, and benefits without first gaining authorization from the membership as well as failing to reimburse the Local for improperly received fees for attending Executive Board meetings; and (4) Local 918's officers negotiated sham collective bargaining agreements with employers who were permitted to be members of the Local. In conclusion, the IRB recommended the imposition of a Trusteeship over Local 918 and required General President Carey ("Carey") to report to the IRB any actions taken or planned within two weeks. (Letter from John J. Cronin, Jr. to Ron Carey of 9/16/97).

 Maney arrived at the offices of Local 918 on October 2, 1997, to assert control over the affairs of the Local. The building in which the offices are located was locked, and entrance by Maney was obstructed and refused by the Local's officers and agents. That same day, Local 918 initiated an action in the Eastern District of New York seeking a Temporary Restraining Order ("TRO") to enjoin the imposition of the emergency trusteeship. Local 918, et al. v. International Bhd. of Teamsters, 97 Civ. 5708 (CPS) (E.D.N.Y.).

 On October 3, 1997, in response to these actions, Plaintiffs by an Order to Show Cause moved this Court for a TRO to enjoin Defendants from interfering with the conduct of the emergency trusteeship over Local 918 and from litigating this case in any forum other than this Court. After conferring with this Court, Judge Patterson, who was sitting in Part I, signed the TRO and Order to Show Cause, and scheduled a hearing before this Court for October 7, 1997.

 Less than three hours prior to the October 7, 1997 hearing, this Court received papers from Defendants submitted in opposition to the Plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction. Accordingly, this Court found it necessary to adjourn the hearing so that Defendants' papers could be given consideration and to provide Plaintiffs an opportunity to respond.

 Having reviewed the arguments advanced by each party in its respective submissions to this Court, this Court finds that a preliminary injunction pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65 should issue.

 DISCUSSION

 In granting Plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction pursuant to Rule 65, this Court considered four issues: (1) whether jurisdiction and venue over the instant litigation were proper in this Court; (2) the applicability of the All Writs Act to the instant dispute; (3) the standard for issuing a preliminary injunction to enforce an emergency trusteeship under relevant Second Circuit case law; and (4) the propriety of the General President's imposition of the emergency trusteeship over Local 918. For the following reasons, this Court found that: (1) this Court had jurisdiction over the instant litigation; (2) Carey properly imposed an emergency trusteeship on Local 918 according to the Second Circuit's standard for issuing a preliminary injunction to enforce an emergency trusteeship on a local union; and (3) the All Writs Act demands that the parties be enjoined from commencing or pursuing any legal action, other than the instant action before this Court, that challenges, impedes, or seeks review of or relief from, or seeks to resolve, prevent, or delay, any act of the IBT or Eugene P. Maney or his designee with respect to the trusteeship imposed on Local 918.

 I. Jurisdiction & Venue

 This Court finds the issue of jurisdiction in this case very similar to those underlying two cases decided by this Court concerning IBT Local 745 in Dallas, Texas, and IBT Local 714 in Chicago, Illinois. Both cases were affirmed by the Second Circuit in March 1997, in International Bhd. Of Teamsters v. Local 714 and Local 745, 109 F.3d 846 (2d Cir. 1997). In both cases, Teamster Locals challenged the imposition of trusteeships over their respective Locals by President Carey upon recommendation of the IRB, and in both cases this Court held that "any action that challenges the ability of the IRB to perform the duties imposed upon it by the Consent Decree clearly implicates the Consent Decree." IBT v. Local 745, 938 F. Supp. 1186, 1192 (S.D.N.Y.), aff'd, 109 F.3d 846 (2d Cir. 1996). In affirming this holding, the Second Circuit held that this Court properly exercised Consent Decree Jurisdiction over a case where the "substance" or "findings" of the IRB reports were challenged. IBT v. Local 714 and Local 745, 109 F.3d 846, 849 (2d Cir. 1997).

 This Court also finds that venue in this case properly lies in the Southern District of New York. The All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651, "empowers courts to issue extraordinary writs 'as may be necessary or appropriate to effectuate and prevent the frustration of orders it has previously issued.'" United States v. International Bhd. Of Teamsters [All Writs Act Affirmance], 907 F.2d 277, 280 (2d Cir. 1990) (quoting United States v. New York Tel., 434 U.S. 159, 172, 54 L. Ed. 2d 376, 98 S. Ct. 364 (1977)). This Court and the Second Circuit have repeatedly invoked the All Writs Act to support this Court's power to order that all Consent Decree litigation be maintained in the Southern District of New York. 907 F.2d At 280-81; IBT v. Local Union 745, 938 F. Supp. 1186, 1192 (S.D.N.Y.), aff'd, 109 F.3d 846 (2d Cir. 1996); Amended Opinion & Order, IBT v. Local 714, 938 F. Supp. 1174, 1178 (S.D.N.Y.), aff'd, 109 F.3d 846 (2d Cir. 1996).

 Although Defendants filed a complaint in the Eastern District of New York prior to Plaintiffs' commencement of this action, Defendants have not objected to the venue or this Court's jurisdiction over this matter. Accordingly, this Court finds that: (1) the Local 918 case falls within this Court's jurisdiction and venue properly lies in the Southern District of New York under both the Consent Decree and the All Writs Act; and (2) that ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.