Duplex Printing Press Co v. Deering, No. 45

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtPITNEY
Citation41 S.Ct. 172,65 L.Ed. 349,16 A. L. R. 196,254 U.S. 443
Docket NumberNo. 45
Decision Date22 January 1920

254 U.S. 443
41 S.Ct. 172
65 L.Ed. 349


DEERING et al.

No. 45.
Argued Jan. 22, 1920.
Decided. Jan. 3, 1921.

[Syllabus from pages 443-446 intentionally omitted]

Page 446

Messrs. Daniel Davenport, of Bridgeport, Conn., and Walker Gordon Merritt, of New York City, for appellant.

[Argument of Counsel from pages 446-454 intentionally omitted]

Page 454

Messrs. Frank X. Sullivan, of New York City, and Frank L. Mulholland, of Toledo, Ohio, for appellees.

[Argument of Counsel from pages 454-460 intentionally omitted]

Page 460

Mr. Justice PITNEY delivered the opinion of the Court.

This was a suit in equity brought by appellant in the District Court for the Southern District of New York for an injunction to restrain a course of conduct carried on by defendants in that district and vicinity in maintaining a boycott against the products of complainant's factory, in furtherance of a conspiracy to injure and destroy its good will, trade, and business—especially to obstruct and destroy its interstate trade. There was also a prayer for damages, but this has not been pressed and calls for no further mention. Complainant is a Michigan corporation, and manufactures printing presses at a factory in Battle Creek, in that state, employing about 200 machinists in the factory, in addition to 50 office employees, traveling salesmen, and expert machinists or road men, who supervise the erection of the presses for complainant's customers at their various places of business. The defendants who were brought into court and answered the bill are Emil J. Deering and William Bramley, sued individually and as business agents and representatives of District No. 15 of the International Association of Machinists, and Michael T. Neyland, sued individually and as business agent and representative of Local Lodge No. 328 of the same association. The Dis trict

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Council and the Lodge are unincorporated associations having headquarters in New York City, with numerous members resident in that city and vicinity. There were averments and proof to show that it was impracticable to bring all the members before the court and that the named defendants properly represented them; and those named were called upon to defend for all, pursuant to equity rule 38 (226 U. S. 659, 33 Sup. Ct. xxix). Other jurisdictional averments need no particular mention. The District Court, on final hearing, dismissed the bill (247 Fed. 192), the Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed its decree (252 Fed. 722, 164 C. C. A. 562), and the present appeal was taken.

The jurisdiction of the federal court was invoked both by reason of diverse citizenship and on the ground that defendants were engaged in a conspiracy to restrain complainant's interstate trade and commerce in printing presses, contrary to the Sherman Anti-Trust Act of July 2, 1890, c. 647, 26 Stat. 209. (Comp. St. §§ 8820-8823, 8827-8830). The suit was begun before but brought to hearing after the passage of the Clayton Act of October 15, 1914, c. 323, 38 Stat. 730. Both parties invoked the provisions of the latter act, and both courts treated them as applicable. Complainant relied also upon the common law; but we shall deal first with the effect of the acts of Congress.

The facts of the case and the nature of the relief prayed are sufficiently set forth in the report of the decision of the Circuit Court of Appeals. 252 Fed. 722, 164 C. C. A. 562. The case was heard before Circuit Judges Rogers and Hough and District Judge Learned Hand. Judge Rogers, although in the minority, stated the case and the pleadings for the court (252 Fed. 723-727, 164 C. C. A. 562), and delivered an opinion for reversal in which he correctly outlined (252 Fed. 734-737 164 C. C. A. 562) the facts as shown by the undisputed evidence—defendants having introduced none. Judges Hough and Hand followed with separate opinions for affirmance, not, however, disagreeing with Judge Rogers as to the facts. These may

Page 462

be summarized as follows:

Complainant conducts its business on the 'open shop' policy, without discrimination against either union or non-union men. The individual defendants and the local organizations of which they are the representatives are affiliated with the International Association of Machinists, an unincorporated association having a membership of more than 60,000, and are united in a combination, to which the International Association also is a party, having the object of compelling complainant to unionize its factory and enforce the 'closed shop,' the eight-hour day, and the union scale of wages, by means of interfering with and restraining its interstate trade in the products of the factory. Complainant's principal manufacture is newspaper presses of large size and complicated mechanism, varying in weight from 10,000 to 100,000 pounds, and requiring a considerable force of labor and a considerable expenditure of time—a week or more—to handle, haul, and erect them at the point of delivery. These presses are sold throughout the United States and in foreign countries; and, as they are especially designed for the production of daily papers, there is a large market for them in and about the city of New York. They are delivered there in the ordinary course of interstate commerce; the handling, hauling, and installation work at destination being done by employees of the purchaser under the supervision of a specially skilled machinist supplied by complainant. The acts complained of and sought to be restrained have nothing to do with the conduct or management of the factory in Michigan, but solely with the installation and operation of the presses by complainant's customers. None of the defendants is or ever was an employee of complainant, and complainant at no time has had relations with either of the organizations that they represent. In August, 1913 (eight months before the filing of the bill), the International Association called a strike at complain ant's

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factory in Battle Creek, as a result of which union machinists to the member of about 11 in the factory and 3 who supervised the erection of presses in the field left complainant's employ. But the defection of so small a number did not materially interfere with the operation of the factory, and sales and shipments in interstate commerce continued.

The acts complained of made up the details of an elaborate programme adopted and carried out by defendants and their organizations in and about the city of New York as part of a country-wide programme adopted by the International Association, for the purpose of enforcing a boycott of complainant's product. The acts embraced the following, with others: Warning customers that it would be better for them not to purchase, or, having purchased, not to install, presses made by complainant, and threatening them with loss should they do so; threatening customers with sympathetic strikes in other trades; notifying a trucking company, usually employed by customers to haul the presses, not to do so, and threatening it with trouble if it should; inciting employees of the trucking company, and other men employed by customers of complainant, to strike against their respective employers in order to interfere with the hauling and installation of presses, and thus bring pressure to bear upon the customers; notifying repair shops not to do repair work on Duplex presses; coercing union men, by threatening them with loss of union cards and with being blacklisted as 'scabs' if they assisted in installing the presses; threatening an exposition company with a strike if it permitted complainant's presses to be exhibited; and resorting to a variety of other modes of preventing the sale of presses of complainant's manufacture in or about New York City, and delivery of them in interstate commerce, such as injuring and threatening to injure complainant's customers and prospective customers, and persons concerned

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in hauling, handling, or installing the presses. In some cases the threats were undisguised; in other cases polite in form, but none the less sinister in purpose and effect.

All the judges of the Circuit Court of Appeals concurred in the view that defendants' consisted essentially of efforts to render it impossible for complainant to carry on any commerce in printing presses between Michigan and New York and that defendants had agreed to do and were endeavoring to accomplish the very thing pronounced uniawful by this court in Loewe v. Lawlor, 208 U. S. 274, 28 Sup. Ct. 301, 52 L. Ed. 488, 13 Ann. Cas. 815, and Lawlor v. Loewe, 235 U. S. 522, 35 Sup. Ct. 170, 59 L. Ed. 341. The judges also agreed that the interference with interstate commerce was such as ought to be enjoined, unless the Clayton Act of October 15, 1914, forbade such injunction.

That act was passed after the beginning of the suit, but more than two years before it was brought to hearing. We are clear that the courts below were right in giving effect to it; the real question being whether they gave it the proper effect. In so far as the act (a) provided for relief by injunction to private suitors, (b) imposed conditions upon granting such relief under particular circumstances, and (c) otherwise nodified the Sherman Act, it was effective from the time of its passage, and applicable to pending suits for injunction. Obviously, this form of relief operates only in futuro, and the right to it must be determined as of the time of the hearing. State of Pennsylvania v. Wheeling & Belmont Bridge Co., 18 How. 421, 431, 432, 15 L. Ed. 435. See, also, United States v. Schooner Peggy, 1 Cranch, 103, 110, 2 L. Ed. 49; Sampeyreac v. United States, 7 Pet. 222, 239, 240, 8 L. Ed. 665; Mills v. Green, 159 U. S. 651, 653, 16 Sup. Ct. 132, 40 L. Ed. 293; Dinsmore v. Southern Express Co., 183 U. S. 115, 120, 22 Sup. Ct. 45, 46 L. Ed. 111; Berry v. Davis, 242 U. S. 468, 470, 37 Sup. Ct. 208, 61 L. Ed. 441.


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