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Cole v. Sheet M Air, Rail and Transportation Workers

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

July 16, 2015

SCOTT C. COLE, MICHAEL HUNTER, and SMART LOCAL 278, Plaintiffs,
v.
SHEET M AIR, RAIL AND TRANSPORTATION WORKERS (SMART), Defendant.

OPINION AND ORDER

SEAN F. COX, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

This matter is before the Court on Plaintiffs' Motion for Civil Contempt [dkt. 29]. Defendant filed a response, Plaintiffs filed a reply, and the parties filed supplemental briefs with the Court's permission. The Court finds that the facts and legal arguments are adequately presented in the parties' papers such that the decision process would not be significantly aided by oral argument. Therefore, pursuant to E.D. Mich. L.R. 7.1(f)(2), it is hereby ORDERED that the motion be resolved on the briefs submitted, without oral argument. For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiffs' motion is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.

II. BACKGROUND

This case stems from allegations that the labor organization Sheet M Air, Rail and Transportations Workers (SMART) ("Defendant") violated the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosures Act of 1959 ("LMRDA"), 29 U.S.C. §403(d). SMART Local 278 ("Local 278"), Scott C. Cole (Chairman of Local 278), and Michael Hunter (President of Local 278) (together, "Plaintiffs") filed a single-count amended complaint on February 10, 2014, alleging that Defendant violated the LMRDA when it

infringed on Plaintiffs' free speech rights by revoking the charter of Local 278 in violation of the [union's] Constitution; in failing to return members to Local 278 that were wrongfully removed; in wrongfully failing to allow members to transfer [into] Local 278; and in wrongfully refusing to place new members into Local 278 in retaliation for Plaintiffs exercising their free speech rights.

Dkt. 24, p. 10, ¶ 48.

On April 9, 2014, the Court entered a Consent Judgment as a result of the parties "having entered into an agreement with one another as to settlement of the outstanding issues." Dkt. 28. The Consent Judgment provides in pertinent part:

1. IT IS HEREBY ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that Defendant SMART will return all former members of UTU Local 278 to SMART Local 278 within 30 days of the entry of this Consent Judgment (see list of members attached on Exhibit A, Group A);
2. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that Defendant SMART will process the transfer requests of members to SMART Local 278 within 30 days of the entry of this Consent Judgment (see list of members attached on Exhibit A, Group B);
* * *
5. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that Defendant SMART will reimburse SMART Local 278 for costs and attorney fees expended by SMART Local 278 and its predecessor, UTU Local 278, in connection with this litigation.

Dkt. 28.

On August 21, 2014, Plaintiffs filed their Motion for Civil Contempt [dkt. 29], alleging that Defendant failed to comply with the above-referenced terms of the Consent Judgment. Defendant filed a response on September 4, 2014 [dkt. 30]. Plaintiffs filed a reply on September 15, 2014 [dkt. 31]. The parties then filed supplemental briefs [dkts. 33 & 35] pursuant to a Stipulated Order Permitting ...


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