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United States v. Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Int'l Union

March 23, 2009

UNITED STATES, PLAINTIFF,
v.
HOTEL EMPLOYEES AND RESTAURANT EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION, ET AL. DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Garrett E. Brown, Jr., U.S.D.J.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

MEMORANDUM OPINION

This matter comes before the Court upon motion by petitioner UNITE HERE ("Petitioner" or "UNITE HERE") for an Order to Show Cause and Verified Petition seeking an order to enforce the Consent Decree and Final Orders against respondents Bruce S. Raynor, John Gillis, Edgar Romney, Wilfredo Larancuent, Katie Gerken, Harold Bock, Harris Raynor, Noel Beasley, Christina Vasquez, Christine Kerber, Lynne Fox, David Melman, Gary Bonadonna, Jean Hervey, Victor Velez, and William Towne (collectively, the "Individual Respondents"), the New York New Jersey Regional Joint Board, the New York Metropolitan Area Joint Board, the Laundry Dry Cleaning and Allied Workers Joint Board, the Rocky Mountain Joint Board, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Joint Board, the Southern Regional Joint Board, the Chicago and Midwest Regional Joint Board, the Western States Regional Joint Board, the Metropolitan Distribution and Trucking Joint Board, the Philadelphia Joint Board, the Pennsylvania Joint Board, the Rochester Regional Joint Board, the Southwest Regional Joint Board, and the Puerto Rico Joint Board (collectively, the "Joint Board Respondents"), and Local 169 of UNITE HERE ("Local 169" and together, with the Individual Respondents, the Joint Board Respondents, the "Respondents") [Docket No. 130, 131]. The Court, having heard oral arguments on March 4, 2009 and having reviewed the parties' submissions, and for the reasons discussed below, will deny Petitioner's motion and petition.

I. BACKGROUND

A. The Consent Decree and Final Order

This case originated with a complaint filed by the United States, which alleged that organized crime groups had dominated the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union ("HEREIU") for twenty-five years, in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act ("RICO"), 18 U.S.C. §§ 1961 et seq. (Compl. [Docket No. 1]). On September 5, 1995, this Court executed a consent decree in this matter ("Consent Decree"), which provided that its "remedial objective . . . is that the HEREIU and its constituent entities be free from the direct or indirect influence of any organized crime group or the threat of such influence now and in the future." (Consent Decree, ¶ 3 [Docket No. 3]).

The Consent Decree also requires that "[a]ll officers and other persons holding positions of trust in the HEREIU and its constituent entities, with due regard to the remedial objective of this action, have a heightened fiduciary duty to the membership in insuring the independence and the integrity of the union free from corruption and the influence of criminal groups as well as promoting democratic participation of union members in union affairs as guaranteed by the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (the "LMRDA")." Id. at ¶ 4. Further, Paragraph 5 of the Consent Decree permanently enjoins all current and future HEREIU officials and constituent entities are permanently enjoined, among other things:

(a) from committing any crime listed in 18 U.S.C. § 1961(1); . . . [and]

(d) from obstructing or otherwise interfering, directly or indirectly, with the efforts of anyone effectuating or attempting to effectuate the terms of this Consent Decree or in attempting to prevent any criminal groups or barred person from exercising influence on the conduct of the affairs of the HEREIU and its constituent entities.

Id. at ¶ 5(a)(d). Finally, with respect to the Court's jurisdiction, the Consent Decree dictates that:

The Court has exclusive jurisdiction over the subject matter herein and over the parties hereto. The Complaint states a cause of action under RICO. The Court shall retain jurisdiction over the parties and signatories to this Consent Decree and the subject matter of this litigation in order to implement the terms and provisions of this Consent Decree. If the Monitor, any party, or other person or entity files any separate action pursuant to the Consent Decree, such action shall be designated a related action pursuant to Rule 11D of the General Rules of this Court. The Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction to decide any and all issues and disputes arising from the interpretation or application of this Consent Decree until further order of this Court.

The United States shall have the right to intervene in the event there is a dispute regarding any interpretation or application of the Consent Decree.

Id. at ¶ 1.

On December 1, 2000, the Court entered a Final Order of Dismissal ("Final Order"), terminating the Consent Decree but also ordering that current and future HEREIU officials were still bound by the duties and injunctions listed above. (Final Order, ¶¶ 2, 5-6 [Docket No. 97]). With respect to the Court's jurisdiction, the Final Order also provides that "[t]he Court shall retain exclusive jurisdiction over the parties of this Order and original Consent Decree in order to enforce and implement the terms and provisions of this Order and the original Consent Decree" and also provides that "[p]ursuant to the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651, all parties and non-parties to this action shall be and are hereby permanently restrained and ...


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