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United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union, Afl-Cio/Clc v. Munger

United States District Court, D. Oregon

June 12, 2015

UNITED STEEL, PAPER AND FORESTRY, RUBBER, MANUFACTURING, ENERGY, ALLIED INDUSTRIAL AND SERVICE WORKERS INTERNATIONAL UNION, AFL-CIO/CLC and JAMES KILBORN in his capacity as Administrator of USW Local 8378 Plaintiffs,
v.
JOSEPH J. MUNGER, SR. and LEE FRAKES, Defendants.

ROBERT H. LAVITT, Schwerin Campbell Barnard Iglitzin & Lavitt LLP, Seattle, WA, LEON DAYAN, BRUCE LERNER, THOMAS W. PEREZ-LOPEZ, Bredhoff & Kaiser, PLLC, Washington, DC, Attorneys for Plaintiffs.

TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER

ANNA J. BROWN, District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on Plaintiffs' Motion (#13) for Temporary Restraining Order.

Plaintiff United Steel Workers International Union (USW) placed Local No. 8378 into trusteeship and appointed James Kilborn as Administrator of the Local. Defendants Joseph Munger and Lee Frakes, whose status as officers of the Local was suspended in the process, dispute the validity and grounds for the USW's actions and removed certain files from the Local's offices to an offsite storage facility inaccessible to the Administrator and to rank and file bargaining union members seeking access through the Administrator.

Plaintiffs moved for temporary injunctive relief seeking, among other things, an order from this Court requiring Defendants' immediate return to Plaintiffs of the records and property of the Local. The Court heard oral argument on the Plaintiffs' Motion on June 9, 2015. Defendants appeared pro se [1] after having been served with the Complaint and Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Court directed the parties to confer in an effort to reach agreement as to the limited temporary relief the Court was considering pending an evidentiary hearing on a motion for preliminary injunction.

On June 11, 2015, the parties submitted a form of partially-Stipulated Temporary Restraining Order, and the Court heard additional oral argument. Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(b)(1) and (2) and based on the parties' arguments and stipulations; the Declarations of Leo Gerard, James Kilborn, Jessica Tucker, and Robert LaVenture filed in support of Plaintiffs' Motion; and the representations of the parties to the Court at the hearings on this Motion, the Court finds:

1. There is a present risk of immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage to Plaintiffs because Defendants are in possession of the physical, electronic, and analog documents and information Plaintiffs need to conduct the business of Local 8378;

2. The parties did not request a bond, and for the reasons stated on the record, the Court concludes no security is required pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65(c);

3. There is a sufficient showing that Plaintiffs likely will succeed on the merits of their claims against Defendants arising from Plaintiffs' institution of the Administratorship such that temporary relief is warranted pending an expedited hearing on a forthcoming motion for preliminary injunction;

4. Absent the issuance of a temporary restraining order, Plaintiffs are likely to suffer immediate and irreparable injury, and such injury substantially outweighs any injury to Defendants that may result from granting Plaintiffs' Motion as provided herein; and

5. This Order serves, and is not contrary to, the public interest.

Accordingly, the Court GRANTS in part Plaintiffs' Motion for Temporary Restraining Order as follows:

1. Return of Records. No later than 5:00 p.m. on June 12, 2015, Defendants must return all records and files of Local 8378 that they removed, including but not limited to all organizational, financial, membership, historic, and working files and records. Defendants may retain any personal notes, memoranda, or other records that are not the property of Local 8378, but the Court presently does not have any reasonable means to determine what records are property of Local 8378 and what records are personal property of Defendants. Defendants, therefore, act at their peril in retaining records that are the property of Local 8378, and if it is demonstrated that Defendants have not fully complied with this Order to return all records of Local 8378, the Court will address such noncompliance by Defendants in due course.

2. Receipt. Except as provided herein, no party may remove, alter, or destroy any records or files of Local 8378. No later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, June 15, 2015, Plaintiffs must provide Defendants with a receipt describing in general terms the ...


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