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Brady v. International Broth. of Teamsters

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

February 3, 2014

JOHN BRADY, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS, THEATRICAL DRIVERS AND HELPERS LOCAL 817, Thomas J. O'onnell, as Secretary Treasurer and President of Local 817, IBT, and Francis J. Connolly, Jr., as Treasurer of Local 817, IBT, Defendants-Appellees.

Submitted: Dec. 3, 2013.

Page 388

Eugene G. Eisner, Eisner & Mirer, P.C., New York, NY, for Plaintiff-Appellant.

Eugene S. Friedman, William Anspach, Cristina E. Gallo, Friedman & Wolf, New York, NY, for Defendants-Appellees.

Before: LIVINGSTON, LOHIER, and CARNEY, Circuit Judges.

LOHIER, Circuit Judge:

John Brady appeals from a judgment of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Forrest, J.) dismissing this case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Brady sued the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Theatrical Drivers and Helpers Local 817 (" IBT Local 817" ) and two of its officers (together with IBT Local 817, " Defendants" ), alleging that Defendants violated Title I of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (the " LMRDA" ), 29 U.S.C. § 411 et seq., by denying him membership in IBT Local 817 in retaliation for his complaints about a union member. The District Court held that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction because Brady pleaded facts affirmatively establishing that he was neither a member nor a member in substance of the union. We affirm.

BACKGROUND

" The amended complaint alleges the following facts, which we assume to be true and construe in the light most favorable to the plaintiff." See Cruz v. FXDirectDealer, LLC, 720 F.3d 115, 118 (2d Cir.2013). At various times between 1981 and 2007, Brady sought and obtained work through IBT Local 817's hiring hall. In 2007, while working on a film set, Brady criticized a union member for not distributing promised cash per diem payments to drivers for the set. In 2008 Brady was passed over for membership in IBT Local 817 and told by defendant Thomas J. O'Donnell, the then Secretary Treasurer of IBT Local 817, that the refusal was in retaliation for Brady's criticism relating to the per diem payments. Later, in 2012, Brady requested a membership application from defendant Francis J. Connolly, Jr., the newly elected Secretary Treasurer of IBT Local 817. Connolly refused to provide one.

The Constitution and By-Laws of IBT Local 817 (the " Union Constitution" ) provide that a person is " eligible for membership" if he or she has " good moral character" and " works in the craft or employment over which [IBT Local 817] has jurisdiction." Union Constitution § 4.01. Section 4.03 of the Union Constitution establishes three " Formal Requirements" for union membership for an " eligible applicant" : (1) the applicant " shall have executed a written application for membership," (2) the applicant " shall have tendered the initiation fees and one month's dues," and (3) " the local shall have accepted his application and dues." Union Constitution § 4.03. The amended complaint alleges that Brady satisfied the eligibility criteria of § 4.01 and therefore was entitled to receive a membership application. It also alleges that IBT Local 817 " routinely granted membership" to individuals without requiring them " to request or fill out an application for membership."

Page 389

Brady claims that the union's refusal to provide him an application or grant him membership was retaliatory, in violation of the LMRDA. The District Court determined that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction under the LMRDA because Brady's allegations established that he was neither a member nor a member in substance of IBT Local 817.

This appeal followed.

DISCUSSION

On appeal, Brady acknowledges that he was not a formal member of IBT Local 817, but claims that he was a union member " in substance." Although we conclude that Brady failed to plead facts establishing that he was even a member " in substance," we clarify that the LMRDA confers subject matter jurisdiction ...


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