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Showkat Khan, et al v. Robert Cassar

December 21, 2012

SHOWKAT KHAN, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
ROBERT CASSAR, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Jack B.WEINSTEIN, Senior United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM, ORDER AND JUDGMENT

I.Introduction

Showkat Khan and Shahjahan Mohammad are members of Local 1182 of the Communications Workers of America ("CWA"). The Local represents only New York City ("City") employees. Plaintiffs allege breach of the constitutions of the CWA and Local 1182 by the Local's officers. Sought is an injunction requiring the Local to comply with the constitutions. Mem. Supp. Mot. Prelim. J., Dec. 3, 2012, CM/ECF No. 3.

The Labor Management Relations Act of 1947, codified as amended at 29 U.S.C. §§ 185 et seq ("LMRA"), excludes from federal jurisdiction such claims. The case is dismissed for lack of federal jurisdiction.

II.Facts

Local 1182 only represents enforcement agents employed by the City's police and sanitation departments. Compl., Dec. 5, 2012, CM/ECF No. 1, at ¶ 4. Kahn and Mohammad were elected as officers of Local 1182 in 2011 and assumed their positions in April 2012. Id. ¶

3. Following the election, Khan was on leave from his job as a traffic enforcement agent with the City. Id. at ¶ 12. He worked on a full-time basis for the union but sixty-percent of his salary was paid by the City. Id. Mohammad was also granted leave from his job with the City, which continued to pay eighty-percent of his salary. Id. Both continued to receive benefits, including health insurance, through the City. See Order to Show Cause Hr'g Tr. 3, Dec. 14, 2012.

Pursuant to the CWA Constitution, Local 1182 is required to maintain adequate files and records and to provide an annual audit of its financial records. Compl. ¶ 7 (citing CWA Constitution Art. XIII, Sec. 9(i)). Local 1182's Constitution requires the union to hold "Regular Meetings" four times per year. Id. at ¶ 8 (citing Local 1182 Constitution Art. VIII, Sec. 1). "Special" meetings may be called upon by a petition signed by one-fifth of the members in good standing of Local 1182. Id. (citing Local 1182 Constitution Art. VIII, Sec. 2).

Shortly after taking office, plaintiffs allege that they discovered defendants Robert Cassar, the president of Local 1182, and Patrick Plummer, the secretary-treasurer of Local 1182, had inappropriately borrowed union funds. Id. at ¶ 11. On May 30, 2012, at a union Executive Board meeting, plaintiffs confronted Cassar and Plummer with a written request for an audit of the union's loans to officers. Id. at ¶ 13. The request was denied.

Local 1182 held no Regular Meetings or Special Meetings in 2012. Id. at ¶ 28. In August 2012, a petition, signed by more than one-fifth of the Local's members, demanded a Special Meeting to vote on matters related to the audit request. Id. at 17. In a letter dated October 5, 2012, defendant Plummer rejected the petition. Id. at 23.

A membership meeting was subsequently scheduled for November 2, 2012 but, in light of Hurricane Sandy, it was canceled. Hr'g Tr. 23. A meeting is now scheduled for January 19, 2013. Id.

Plaintiffs contend that Local 1182's failure to hold a special meeting violates the CWA and Local 1182 Constitutions. See Mem. Supp. Mot. Prelim. J., Dec. 10, 2012, CM/ECF No. 5, at 13-14. They sue as members of the CWA to enforce the constitutions.

III.Law and Application to Facts

"Dismissal of a case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under Rule 12(b)(1) is proper 'when the district court lacks the statutory or constitutional power to adjudicate it.'" Ford v. D.C. 37 Union Local 1549, 579 F.3d 187, 188 (2d Cir.2009) (per curiam) ...


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