United States District Court, D. Delaware
Julius Cephas, Paul Cutler, Emmett Foster, and Sally Chapman, Plaintiffs,
International Longshoremen's Association, AFL-CIO, Harold J. Daggett, William Ashe, Jr., and Brian Witiw, Defendants.
before the Court are Defendants' Motion for Summary
Judgment (D.I. 70) and Plaintiffs' Motion for Partial
Summary Judgment (D.I. 75). The issues are fully briefed.
(D.I. 71, 76, 78, 79, 81, 83). For the reasons set forth
below, I grant Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment
and deny Plaintiffs' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment.
are former local union officers of Local 1694-1,
International Longshoremen's Association, AFL-CIO
("Local 1694-1"). (D.I. 71 at 1; D.I. 76 at 2).
Plaintiff Julius Cephas is the former local President. (D.I.
76 at 3; D.I. 76-1 at ¶¶5-6). Local 1694-1
represents individuals working in cargo handling and
warehousing functions at the Delaware State Port Corporation.
(D.I. 76 at 2). On April 25, 2016, following a January 2016
hearing, Defendant International Longshoremen's
Association, AFL-CIO ("TLA") imposed a trusteeship
over Local 1694-1, removed all local officers, and barred
Cephas from running for union office for three years. (D.I.
71 at 1; D.I 76 at 4-5). The ILA hearing committee (the
"Committee") had found that Local 1694-1's
officers had violated their duty of fair representation by
maintaining an unfair and discriminatory seniority system.
(D.I. 2-14 at 22). The Committee had further found that Local
1694-1 's officers impeded an ILA investigation into
complaints about the seniority system. (Id. at 24).
3, 2016, Plaintiffs brought this action. (D.I. 2). They also
moved for a temporary restraining order and preliminary
injunction seeking to dissolve the trusteeship over Local
1694-1, reinstate Plaintiffs and other officers to their
positions, and rescind the suspension of Cephas's right
to run for office. (D.I. 1, 4). Plaintiffs contended that ILA
imposed the trusteeship after an unfair hearing because they
lacked notice and were denied the right to cross-examine
witnesses. (D.I. 2 at 16). This Court heard and denied that
motion on July 7, 2016. (D.I. 27).
August 5, 2016, Plaintiffs filed an Amended Complaint
alleging: (I) Defendants imposed the trusteeship for an
improper purpose in violation of Section 302 of the Labor
Management Reporting and Disclosure Act ("LMRDA"),
29 U.S.C. § 462, (II) Defendants imposed a trusteeship
without a fair hearing in violation of Section 304(c) of the
LMRDA, 29 U.S.C. § 464(c), (III) Defendants improperly
disciplined Cephas in violation of Section 101(a)(5) of the
LMRDA, 29 U.S.C. § 411(a)(5), and (IV) Defendants
breached the ILA Constitution by barring Cephas from running
for office for three years in violation of Section 301 of the
LMRDA, 29 U.S.C. § 185. (D.I. 32 at 13-23).
January 21, 2018, Cephas again sought a temporary restraining
order, arguing that he was likely to succeed on Counts III
and IV and requesting this court to "command
defendants to cease and desist interfering with
[Cephas's] right to run for union office." (D.I.
61). This Court denied Cephas's motion. (D.I. 66). Local
1694-1 held an election on January 24, 2018. (D.I. 71 at 3).
No. local officer elections are scheduled prior to the
expiration of Cephas's suspension on April 24, 2019.
(D.I. 88 at ¶ 3).
filed a motion for summary judgment as to all of
Plaintiffs' claims on April 27, 2018. (D.I. 70).
Plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment as to Counts
III and IV of the Amended Complaint on April 27, 2018. (D.I.
75). Briefing was complete on June 8, 2018. On August 9,
2018, noting the end of the trusteeship, this Court dismissed
Counts I and II as moot. (D.I. 86).
court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law."
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The moving party has the initial burden
of proving the absence of a genuinely disputed material fact
relative to the claims in question. Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 330 (1986). Material facts are
those "that could affect the outcome" of the
proceeding, and "a dispute about a material fact is
'genuine' if the evidence is sufficient to permit a
reasonable jury to return a verdict for the nonmoving
party." Lamont v. New Jersey, 637 F.3d 177, 181
(3d Cir. 2011) (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986)). The moving party may
discharge its burden by pointing out to the court that there
is an absence of evidence supporting the non-moving
party's case. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323.
determining whether a genuine issue of material fact exists,
the court must view the evidence in the light most favorable
to the non-moving party and draw all reasonable inferences in
that party's favor. Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S.
372, 380 (2007); Wishkin v. Potter, 476 F.3d 180,
184 (3d Cir. 2007). A dispute is "genuine" only if
the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the non-moving party. Anderson, 477 U.S.
at 247-49. If the non-moving party fails to make a sufficient
showing on an essential element of its case with respect to
which it has the burden of proof, the moving party is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law. See
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322.
Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment
seek summary judgment that this Court lacks jurisdiction over
Counts III and IV. (D.I. 71 at 22; D.I. 81 at 5).
Alternatively, Defendants seek summary judgment that Counts
III and IV fail on the merits. (D.I. 71 at 25, 28). The
parties agree that there are no disputed material facts
relating to the two remaining Counts. (D.I. 87, 88).