Jordan Marsh Co. v. Labor Relations Comm'n

CourtUnited States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
Writing for the CourtQUA
Citation45 N.E.2d 925,312 Mass. 597
Decision Date29 December 1942
PartiesJORDAN MARSH CO. v. LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION.

312 Mass. 597
45 N.E.2d 925

JORDAN MARSH CO.
v.
LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION.

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Suffolk.

Dec. 29, 1942.


Certiorari proceeding by Jordan March Company to review a decision of the Labor Relations Commission. From an order sustaining a demurrer to the petition, the petitioner appeals.

Order affirmed and petition dismissed.

[45 N.E.2d 925]

Appeal from Superior Court, Suffolk County; Collins, Judge.

Before FIELD, C. J., and DONAHUE, QUA, COX, and RONAN, JJ.

C. A. Roberts and W. F. Byrne, both of Boston, for petitioner.


L. E. Crowley, of Boston, for respondents.

QUA, Justice.

This is a petition for a writ of certiorari to review a proceeding under section 5(c) of the state labor relations law, G.L.(Ter.Ed.) c. 150A, as inserted by St.1938, c. 345, § 2, wherein the Labor Relations Commission certified that a certain labor organization

[45 N.E.2d 926]

had been selected by a majority of the petitioner's employees in an appropriate bargaining unit as their representative for the purpose of collective bargaining. Various errors are alleged to have been committed by the respondents in conducting the proceedings. The respondents demurred without filing a return, and the demurrer was sustained in the Superior Court on the ground, among others, that the petitioner had an adequate remedy under section 6(f) of the state labor relations law.

The filing of a demurrer to a petition for a writ of certiorari, either with or without a return, is recognized as permissible practice where it is desired to attack the sufficiency of the petition itself. Worcester & N. R. v. Railroad Commissioners, 118 Mass. 561, 564;Selectmen of Wakefield v. Judge of First District Court of Eastern Middlesex, 262 Mass. 477, 160 N.E. 427;Webster v. Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission, 295 Mass. 572, 4 N.E.2d 302;Irwin v. Justice of Municipal Court of Brighton District of City of Boston, 298 Mass. 158, 10 N.E.2d 92. See Morrissey v. State Ballot Law Commission, 312 Mass. 121, 126, 43 N.E.2d 385.

The question in the case is whether certiorari lies to correct alleged errors of law where the commission has gone no further than to determine ‘the unit appropriate for the purposes of collective bargaining’, section 5(b), and to ‘certify’ the name of the union ‘designated or selected’, section 5(c), ‘for the purposes of collective bargaining by the majority of the employees.’ section 5(a), in that unit, and where there has been as yet no charge of any ‘unfair labor practice’ on the part of the petitioner, and no ‘cease and desist’ order, section 6(c), and where, other than as above stated, no ‘final order * * * granting or denying in whole or in part the relief sought,’ section 6(f), has been made.

Petition for certiorari is the common method available under our practice for the correction of errors of law committed in the course of proceedings of boards and commissions acting in a quasi judicial capacity. Although procedure in certiorari, with its emphasis upon the return of the respondents, may be thought cumbersome and in some respects not wholly satisfactory, yet the function performed by it is highly necessary in the modern governmental structure. Swan v. Justices of Superior Court, 222 Mass. 542, 544, 111 N.E. 386;Commissioner of Public Works of Boston v. Justice of Municipal Court of Dorchester District, 228 Mass. 12, 15, 116 N.E. 969;Whitney v. Judge of District Court of Northern Berkshire, 271 Mass. 448, 458, 459, 171 N.E. 648. On the other hand it is still true that certiorari is one of the so-called ‘extraordinary remedies,’ and that resort may not be had to it if the law provides adequate remedies by other methods. Mayor of Medford v. Judge of First District Court of Eastern Middlesex, 249 Mass. 465, 468, 144 N.E. 397;Maher v. Commonwealth, 291 Mass. 343, 345, 346, 197 N.E. 78. The issue therefore reduces itself to the inquiry whether the remedies afforded the petitioner by the labor relations law itself are so inadequate as to render certiorari necessary for the prevention of substantial injustice and to lead to the conclusion that the...

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27 practice notes
  • Hathaway Bakeries, Inc. v. Labor Relations Comm'n
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • 29 Abril 1944
    ...practice but also the correctness or the order made upon the petition for certification. Jordan Marsh Co. v. Labor Relations Commission, 312 Mass. 597, 45 N.E.2d 925;Pttsburgh Plate Glass Co. v. National Labor Relations Board, 313 U.S. 146, 61 S.Ct. 908, 85 L.Ed. 1251. The principal content......
  • Merchants Ins. Grp. v. Spicer, No. 14–P–798.
    • United States
    • Appeals Court of Massachusetts
    • 9 Septiembre 2015
    ...” Gordon v. Hardware Mut. Cas. Co., 361 Mass. at 586, 281 N.E.2d 573, quoting from Jordan Marsh Co. v. Labor Relations Commn., 312 Mass. 597, 601–602, 45 N.E.2d 925 (1942).Here, the remedies available to Merchants at the DIA were not inadequate. It was entitled to argue in the workers' comp......
  • St. Luke's Hosp. v. Labor Relations Comm'n
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • 30 Noviembre 1946
    ...review before he may invoke any judicial interference with the action of the board. Jordan Marsh Co. v. Labor Relations Commission, 312 Mass. 597, 45 N.E.2d 925;Id., 316 Mass. 748, 56 N.E.2d 915;P. F. Petersen Baking Co. v. Bryan, 290 U.S. 570, 575, 54 S.Ct. 277, 78 L.Ed. 505, 90 A.L.R. 128......
  • Reynolds v. Board of Appeal of Springfield
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • 14 Febrero 1957
    ...111 N.E. 386; Morrissey v. State Ballot Law Commission, 312 Mass. 121, 43 N.E.2d 385; Jordan Marsh Co. v. Labor Relations Commission, 312 Mass. 597, 599, 45 N.E.2d 925; Gifford v. Commissioner of Public Health, 328 Mass. 608, 619, 105 N.E.2d 476. In the absence of an express statutory provi......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
27 cases
  • Hathaway Bakeries, Inc. v. Labor Relations Comm'n
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • 29 Abril 1944
    ...practice but also the correctness or the order made upon the petition for certification. Jordan Marsh Co. v. Labor Relations Commission, 312 Mass. 597, 45 N.E.2d 925;Pttsburgh Plate Glass Co. v. National Labor Relations Board, 313 U.S. 146, 61 S.Ct. 908, 85 L.Ed. 1251. The principal content......
  • Merchants Ins. Grp. v. Spicer, No. 14–P–798.
    • United States
    • Appeals Court of Massachusetts
    • 9 Septiembre 2015
    ...” Gordon v. Hardware Mut. Cas. Co., 361 Mass. at 586, 281 N.E.2d 573, quoting from Jordan Marsh Co. v. Labor Relations Commn., 312 Mass. 597, 601–602, 45 N.E.2d 925 (1942).Here, the remedies available to Merchants at the DIA were not inadequate. It was entitled to argue in the workers' comp......
  • St. Luke's Hosp. v. Labor Relations Comm'n
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • 30 Noviembre 1946
    ...review before he may invoke any judicial interference with the action of the board. Jordan Marsh Co. v. Labor Relations Commission, 312 Mass. 597, 45 N.E.2d 925;Id., 316 Mass. 748, 56 N.E.2d 915;P. F. Petersen Baking Co. v. Bryan, 290 U.S. 570, 575, 54 S.Ct. 277, 78 L.Ed. 505, 90 A.L.R. 128......
  • Reynolds v. Board of Appeal of Springfield
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • 14 Febrero 1957
    ...111 N.E. 386; Morrissey v. State Ballot Law Commission, 312 Mass. 121, 43 N.E.2d 385; Jordan Marsh Co. v. Labor Relations Commission, 312 Mass. 597, 599, 45 N.E.2d 925; Gifford v. Commissioner of Public Health, 328 Mass. 608, 619, 105 N.E.2d 476. In the absence of an express statutory provi......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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