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Naylor v. Harkins

Decided: November 3, 1954.

ARTHUR F. NAYLOR, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS-DEFENDANTS,
v.
THOMAS J. HARKINS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS-RESPONDENTS



Jayne, Stanton and Hall. The opinion of the court was delivered by Stanton, J.s.c. (temporarily assigned).

Stanton

[32 NJSuper Page 560] This action was brought by Naylor, and later the other plaintiffs, who are also members of Division 851 of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, hereinafter called the Division, joined in it. The defendants are Grand International Division of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, hereinafter called

the Brotherhood, Thomas J. Harkins, its Assistant Grand Chief Engineer, and Locomotive Engineers Mutual Life and Accident Insurance Association, an affiliate of it. The plaintiffs seek the restoration of the charter of Division 851 and damages resulting from the alleged improper revocation of it. Naylor seeks reinstatement as a member and officer of the Division and damages as the result of his expulsion. They also seek the maintenance of their rights as members and insured of the insurance association. There was a dismissal of the complaint and the plaintiffs appeal therefrom.

The record in this case is voluminous and involved. Time and space may be conserved by referring to the opinion of the Supreme Court reported in 11 N.J. 435 (1953), where it was held that the Chancery Division had jurisdiction of this action and that the allowance of an interlocutory injunction was proper. Certain background material may be found in the opinion of the Chancery Division reported in 27 N.J. Super. 594, and in Naylor v. Pennsylvania R. Co. , 106 F. Supp. 84 (D.C.N.J. 1952).

It may serve convenience if there is set forth at this point excerpts from the constitution, statutes and rules of the Brotherhood which have applicability here:

CONSTITUTION

"DUTIES OF THE GRAND CHIEF ENGINEER

Sec. 6.(b) He shall interpret the law of the G.I.E. according to its plain and obvious meaning, decide all controversies which may be appealed from Divisions, and after a careful examination of the subject he shall make out and forward to the Divisions making the appeal his written decision in the case and such decision shall be final and conclusive until the Triennial Convention of the G.I.D., at which time the aggrieved member may appeal to the G.I.D., providing the Division to which the aggrieved member belongs has at least thirty (30) days' notice of said appeal, and a majority vote shall be necessary to reverse the decision.

(c) He shall have the authority to demand and review the records of any trial conducted in a Division when same is brought to his attention by any Division or member of the B. of L.E., and if it is apparent from the records of such trial that same has not been conducted or disposed of in accordance with the law and evidence, he

shall have the power to order a new trial of the case and direct that a complete record of same be kept for his information. If it is apparent from the complete record of the trial so ordered that the verdict has not been rendered in accordance with the law and evidence, he will then, with the concurrence of the Advisory Board, have the power to set such verdict aside and direct a verdict, and impose a penalty in accordance with the law, and evidence, which verdict, only, and any Division refusing to apply the verdict in accordance with the foregoing instruction will have its Charter suspended at his discretion. * * *

(e) When in the opinion of the Grand Chief Engineer a Division has become so demoralized as to be a detriment to the Brotherhood he shall have authority to revoke the Charter of such Division, pending the action of the next Convention of the G.I.D. * * *"

STATUTES

"CHARGES

Sec. 72. It shall be the duty of any member who has knowledge that a member has violated any requirement, duty, law, rule, regulation, or obligation of the Brotherhood, to bring charges in writing against such offending member, and upon the failure of any member having such knowledge to bring such charges it shall be the duty of the Chief Engineer of the Division to which the offending member belongs, when knowledge of such violation shall come to his attention, to bring such charges. Such charges shall be filed with the Secretary-Treasurer of the Division to which the offending member belongs, and shall state specifically the offense charged, and the section or sections, of the written law, or obligations, of the Order violated. When more than one offense is charged each offense shall be set out separately. The Chief Engineer of the Division shall, at the next regular meeting thereof, after charges are preferred, cause the Secretary Treasurer to read said charges in open meeting and appoint a Committee of three to investigate the charges and report its findings to the next regular meeting, unless further time shall be given.

INVESTIGATING COMMITTEE.

Sec. 73(b). The Committee shall only report its findings and will make no recommendation. Should the committee report that they find sufficient cause for proceeding with the trial, and the same is adopted by the Division, they shall proceed with the trial. If the Committee reports sufficient reasons for proceeding with trial and same is rejected by the Division, that shall end the proceedings unless charges are renewed.

TAKING CASE TO COURT.

Sec. 93. Any member or members of the Brotherhood who submit, or appeal, any case in controversy arising within the Organization, and for which the laws of the Brotherhood provide a means of settlement, to the judges of the civil courts, the governors of state or others not identified with the B. of L.E. in official capacity, for opinion or decision, without having previously exhausted all his remedies within the Brotherhood, shall be deemed guilty of disloyalty, and upon conviction ...


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