Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen v. Martin, 11374.

CourtCourt of Appeals of Texas
Citation161 S.W.2d 556
Docket NumberNo. 11374.,11374.
Decision Date26 March 1942

Appeal from District Court, Galveston County; C. G. Dibrell, Judge.

Suit by R. H. Martin against Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, Order of Railway Conductors of America, and others, to restrain interference with plaintiff's seniority rights as a conductor. From an order overruling 13 pleas of privilege to be sued in various counties and granting a temporary injunction, defendants appeal.


W. A. Endle, of Cleveland, Ohio, Grimm, Elliott, Shuttleworth & Ingersoll, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Charles Murphy, of Houston, for appellants.

Fulbright, Crooker, Freeman & Bates and John H. Crooker, all of Houston (John H. Crooker and Kraft W. Eidman, both of Houston, of counsel), for appellee.

GRAVES, Justice.

This appeal, brought here pursuant to Subdivisions (c) and (d) of Rule 385, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, is from an order of the 56th District Court of Galveston County overruling the several pleas of privilege of some 13 of these appellants to be sued in various counties of their domiciles elsewhere, and granting the appellee a temporary injunction against them all, running in material substance as follows: "The defendants (appellants here) individually and jointly, are hereby in all things restrained, enjoined and prevented from taking any action, individually or collectively, that may or will have the effect of depriving the plaintiff, R. H. Martin, of or prevent him from exercising his rights and status as a conductor on those runs operated by the I-G. N. or M. K. T. Railroads over the G. H. & H. Railroad between Galveston and Houston, Texas, on which he is entitled to act and serve as a conductor by reason of his seniority rights acquired on the G. H. & H. Railroad and under the terms of the agreement of November 18, 1920, of the four principal operating Railroad Brotherhoods, recognizing plaintiff's said prior rights and seniority rights, as modified by the rulings of said Brotherhoods on March 4, 1932, and December 28, 1934, said temporary injunction hereby granted to remain in full force and effect pending the final decision of this case or until changed by further order of this or some other court of competent jurisdiction."

The pleas of privilege were in statutory form, were likewise properly contested by the appellee, and the quoted writ was granted after due notice to all parties and a full hearing of evidence adduced by the appellee, none of the appellants having offered any.

Eight of such pleas against the venue were filed by those appellants on August 18 of 1941, coincidentally with the filing of answers by them to the appellee's suit; the remaining five pleas of privilege were filed later, on October 8 of 1941.

The appellee's suit, which sought temporary relief only, as so awarded him, to adopt this part of the statement from the appellee's brief, "named as defendants two of the principal Railroad Brotherhoods (Conductors and Trainmen), various local lodges or divisions of each at different points on the M. K. T., I-G. N., and G. H. & H. Railroads, as well as the general chairman of the grievance committees of both on the M. K. T. and I-G. N. for the respective divisions of those roads, which include the G. H. & H. trackage between Galveston and Houston, and certain individual conductors and trainmen, whose alleged rights were claimed to conflict with appellee's rights, and who, together with the general chairman, were alleged to be representative of the classes of conductors and trainmen whose rights might be affected; two of the defendantsLocal Lodge No. 451, Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen (hereafter called B.R.T. for brevity), and Local Division No. 659, Order of Railway Conductors of America (hereafter called O.R.C. for brevity) — had their domicile in Galveston County, Texas. A temporary restraining writ of injunction was issued by the trial court ordering the defendants to appear on August 18, 1941, and show cause why a temporary injunction should not be granted. A temporary restraining writ of injunction was served promptly on the Galveston County defendants, Local Lodge No. 451, B.R.T., and Local Division No. 659, O.R.C., and return showing such service was properly made and filed with the Galveston District Court, 56th Judicial District of Texas."

On November 26 of 1941, all the pleas of privilege and the appellee's application for temporary injunction were heard jointly, by agreement of the parties, and the appeal has been likewise presented by joint action, through one record, submitting to this court for review the two separate and distinct interlocutory orders.

Without undertaking to appraise all of appellants' contentions accurately upon either order, it may be said that their main points on appeal are:

First, that the trial court erred in overruling the several pleas of privilege of the appellants (Points One to Thirteen, inclusive).

Second, the trial court abused its discretion in granting the temporary injunction (Points Fourteen to Twenty-four, inclusive).

In inveighing against the injunctive writ, however, appellants seem to regard the present cause as a recrudescence of two prior litigations between some of the same parties and involving some of the relationships with which the case now at bar has to do, as shown by this recitation in their brief: "This is the third appeal of this cause from the said district court", referring to two prior decisions of this court in cases styled and reported, respectively, as Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen v. Price, Tex.Civ.App., 108 S. W.2d 239, and Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen v. Price et al., Tex.Civ.App., 126 S.W.2d 74. They further appear to misconstrue the quoted injunctive order issued herein against them, wherein they interpret it as, "granting an injunction order to the appellants to do and perform for appellee Martin greater service and benefits than the appellee could have secured or obtained from the organization if he had been a member, as in the case where the appellee as a member of an organization occupies seniority rights to employment on the M. K. & T. as a brakeman could not have or expect to have rights as a conductor"; whereas, the appealed-from order did not, in terms at least, undertake to require the appellants to do or perform anything for the appellee, other than to refrain from interfering with his claimed right to work for or on the G. H. & H. Railway as a conductor, which status and opportunity the trial court found he had.

Neither, it is thought, do the two cited decisions of this court in the former litigations have anything material to do with the simple issue on its merits of the present controversy — that is, were the appellants interfering with an established right of the appellee to work as a conductor upon the G. H. & H. Railway, in accordance with a recognized status of that sort between him and the Railway Company, which the Railway Company was willing to recognize and honor, but for the effectively preventive interference by the appellants, or some of them?

Indeed, the appellee, in his turn, in responding to appellants' stated insistence that the same issues are now again involved as between the parties here that were determined adversely to the appellee and in favor of the appellants in those two former cases, makes this reply: "While counsel for appellants apparently agrees that the appellate court did not decide the merits of the previous controversies, appellee Martin, for all purposes in this suit, agrees to and has accepted the contention made in those controversies by the Brotherhoods, and therefore the question of whether the instrument dated November 18, 1920, was a ruling or a contract,...

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  • Brownsville Shrimp Co. v. Miller, 11930.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas
    • 20 Noviembre 1947
    ...International & G. N. v. Anderson County, Tex.Civ.App., 150 S.W. 239, affirmed 106 Tex. 60, 150 S.W. 499; Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen v. Martin, Tex.Civ.App., 161 S.W.2d 556. Further arguing against the validity of P.C. Articles 934a and 934b — 1, supra, the appellants cite and rely up......

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