Connecticut Foundry Co. v. International Ladies Garment Workers Union, AFL-CIO

Decision Date06 March 1979
Docket NumberAFL-CIO
Citation411 A.2d 1,177 Conn. 17
CourtConnecticut Supreme Court
Parties, 104 L.R.R.M. (BNA) 2974 CONNECTICUT FOUNDRY COMPANY v. INTERNATIONAL LADIES GARMENT WORKERS UNION,, et al.

Norman Zolot, Hamden, with whom, on the brief, was Burton S. Rosenberg, Hamden, for appellants (defendants).

Robert K. Beck, Groton, with whom, on the brief, was John E. Silliman, Hartford, for appellee (plaintiff).

Before COTTER, C. J., and LOISELLE, BOGDANSKI, LONGO and PETERS, JJ.

COTTER, Chief Justice.

On February 24, 1978, the trial court issued a temporary injunction, based on the plaintiff's complaint and application, restraining the manner and method in which the defendants individuals and labor organizations could picket the plaintiff's foundry and parking lot. Pursuant to an agreement and stipulation of the parties, on March 14, the temporary injunction was extended by order of the court to April 11, 1978, which provided, inter alia, that "either party may, if circumstances warrant, apply for an immediate hearing on the injunction prior to April 11," and that the parties may stipulate by affidavit for further extensions if required. On April 18, 1978, the court extended the temporary injunction for a period of one week, and, on April 25, it ordered the injunction extended until June 20, 1978. 1 On the basis of the claims that they did not voluntarily agree to a further extension of the injunction and that their request for a full hearing in open court on the merits pursuant to General Statutes § 31-115 was improperly denied, 2 the defendants have appealed from the April 25, 1978 order of the trial court extending the temporary injunction until June 20. 3

The order from which the defendants have appealed has expired by its own terms and admittedly has not subsequently been renewed or extended. Hence, we consider, at the outset, the threshold question of whether the present appeal is moot.

"It is a well-settled general rule that the existence of an actual controversy is an essential requisite to appellate jurisdiction; it is not the province of appellate courts to decide moot questions, disconnected from the granting of actual relief or from the determination of which no practical relief can follow." Reynolds v. Vroom, 130 Conn. 512, 515, 36 A.2d 22, 24; Phaneuf v. Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, 166 Conn. 449, 452, 352 A.2d 291; Harkins v. Driscoll, 165 Conn. 407, 409, 334 A.2d 901; Roy v. Mulcahy, 161 Conn. 324, 328, 288 A.2d 64; Maltbie, Conn.App.Proc. § 21. In the absence of an actual and existing controversy for us to adjudicate in any sense of the term, the courts of this state may not be used as a vehicle to obtain judicial opinions upon points of law; Reply of the Judges, 33 Conn. 586; and where the question presented is purely academic, we must refuse to entertain the appeal. Young v. Tynan, 148 Conn. 456, 459, 172 A.2d 190.

The defendants, at oral argument, have conceded, as they must, that their appeal may be "moot" insofar as they recognize that any decision on the merits by this court could not result in a benefit to them as parties under the present circumstances of this case. The order from which the appeal has been taken has long since expired, so that a decision by this court favorable to the appellants would entitle them only to the invalidation of an injunction which no longer exists. See Rosnick v. Zoning Commission, 172 Conn. 306, 309, 374 A.2d 245. Nevertheless, they urge us to address the issue raised in this appeal and thereby to provide a definitive interpretation of the statute in question so as to preclude the recurrence of any similar dispute in the future and to protect labor generally from the abuses of unrestrained issuance of injunctions in industrial controversies.

Standing alone, such a reason is insufficient to convince this court that the case presents a situation "capable of repetition, yet evading review"; thus, the appeal should be dismissed as moot. See Rosnick v. Zoning Commission, supra. According to some authorities, that concept, first enunciated by the United States Supreme Court in Southern Pacific Terminal Co. v. Interstate Commerce Commission, 219 U.S. 498, 515-16, 31 S.Ct. 279, 55 L.Ed. 310, had not always been construed in the most consistent manner. See note, "The Mootness Doctrine in the Supreme Court," 88 Harv.L.Rev. 373, 386-95 (1974); note, "Mootness on Appeal in the Supreme Court," 83 Harv.L.Rev. 1672, 1685-87 (1970). Recently, however, in Weinstein v. Bradford, 423 U.S. 147, 149, 96 S.Ct. 347, 349, 46 L.Ed.2d 350, the court, citing its review of the...

To continue reading

Request your trial
51 cases
  • Hartford Principals' and Supervisors' Ass'n v. Shedd
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • March 10, 1987
    ...consider, at the outset, the threshold question of whether the present appeal is moot. See Connecticut Foundry Co. v. International Ladies Garment Workers Union, 177 Conn. 17, 19, 411 A.2d 1 (1979). "It is a well-settled general rule that the existence of an actual controversy is an essenti......
  • State v. Nardini
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • May 11, 1982
    ...opinions on points of law." Harkins v. Driscoll, 165 Conn. 407, 409, 334 A.2d 901 (1973); Connecticut Foundry Co. v. International Ladies Garment Workers Union, 177 Conn. 17, 19, 411 A.2d 1 (1979); (2) that the interests of the parties be adverse; McAnerney v. McAnerney, 165 Conn. 277, 283,......
  • Loisel v. Rowe, 15029
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • June 6, 1995
    ...For this proposition, it relied on the very language in Weinstein that had been quoted in Connecticut Foundry Co. v. International Ladies Garment Workers Union, 177 Conn. 17, 21, 411 A.2d 1 (1979), but disapproved in Delevieleuse. Hartford Principals' & Supervisors' Assn. v. Shedd, supra, 2......
  • Horton v. Meskill
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • January 15, 1985
    ...on these orders, they have become moot and therefore we need not determine their validity. Connecticut Foundry Co. v. International Ladies Garment Workers Union, 177 Conn. 17, 19, 411 A.2d 1 (1979); Reynolds v. Vroom, 130 Conn. 512, 515, 36 A.2d 22 The court's principal determinations of un......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT