Linn v. UNITED PLANT GUARD WORKERS OF AMER., LOCAL 114, No. 15548.

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtCECIL and O'SULLIVAN, Circuit , and MILLER
Citation337 F.2d 68
PartiesWilliam C. LINN, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. UNITED PLANT GUARD WORKERS OF AMERICA, LOCAL 114, a labor association, Leo J. Doyle, Benton I. Bilbrey, W. T. England, jointly and severally, Defendants-Appellees.
Decision Date13 October 1964
Docket NumberNo. 15548.

337 F.2d 68 (1964)

William C. LINN, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
UNITED PLANT GUARD WORKERS OF AMERICA, LOCAL 114, a labor association, Leo J. Doyle, Benton I. Bilbrey, W. T. England, jointly and severally, Defendants-Appellees.

No. 15548.

United States Court of Appeals Sixth Circuit.

October 13, 1964.


337 F.2d 69

Donald F. Welday, Jr., Southfield, Mich. (Welday, O'Leary, Goldstone & Bichan, Southfield, Mich., on the brief), for appellant.

Nancy Jean Van Lopik, Detroit, Mich. (Livingston, Gregory, Van Lopik & Cranefield, Winston L. Livingston, Detroit, Mich., on the brief), for appellees.

Before CECIL and O'SULLIVAN, Circuit Judges, and MILLER, District Judge.

O'SULLIVAN, Circuit Judge.

This appeal presents the question whether the National Labor Relations Board has preempted the diversity jurisdiction of a district court to entertain an action to recover damages for libel committed by a union and its officers in the course of, and arising out of tactics employed in, a union's organization campaign. The District Court so held in dismissing, on motion, such an action commenced by a management official against a union and its officers. On the authority of San Diego Bldg. Trades Council v. Garmon, 359 U.S. 236, 79 S.Ct. 773, 3 L.Ed.2d 775 (1959), and the Supreme Court's decisions following Garmon, we affirm.

Plaintiff-appellant, William C. Linn, was at the times involved in 1962 an assistant general manager for the North Central Region of Pinkerton's National Detective Agency, Inc. The complaint charged that during a campaign to organize Pinkerton's employees, defendant-appellee, United Plant Guard Workers of America, Local 114, and defendants-appellees, Benton I. Bilbrey, President of the union local and W. T. England, its Vice-President, and one Leo J. Doyle, a Pinkerton guard, conspired to and did utter, publish, circulate and mail written matter maliciously libelling and defaming plaintiff Linn. For consideration of the question before us we accept that these statements were false, malicious, clearly libelous and damaging to plaintiff Linn, albeit they were relevant to the union's campaign.

Linn's employer filed an unfair labor practice charge against the union based upon the libelous material, but the Board's Acting Regional Director refused to issue a complaint upon his determination that "there is no evidence that the union was involved in any respect in the drafting and circulation of the leaflets." This refusal was affirmed by the N. L. R. B. Office of Appeals on February 13, 1963. On June 5, 1963, the District Judge filed a memorandum opinion

337 F.2d 70
supporting his order of dismissal stating
"If Local 114 or its President or Vice-President were in fact responsible for distributing to Pinkerton\'s employees a false and defamatory publication which would tend to affect adversely the relations between Pinkerton\'s and its employees, this would arguably constitute an unfair labor practice under Section 8(b) of the National Labor Relations Act. * * *"

and from this reasoned that the District Court was "without authority to give plaintiffs any relief against the moving defendants" (the union and its officers) under the now familiar language of Garmon: "when an activity is arguably subject to § 7 or § 8 of the Act, the States as well as the federal courts must defer to the exclusive competence of the National Labor Relations Board if the danger of state interference with national policy is to be averted." 359 U.S. 245, 79 S.Ct. 779.

The Garmon decision appears to have been accepted as setting at rest the uncertainties that had remained as to just what traditional remedies could still be employed in the state courts to redress wrongs committed in the collisions between employers and employees' unions. It has been assumed that since Garmon the states can intrude into this field only when some "compelling state interest" such as "the maintenance of domestic peace" called for exercise of a state's traditional remedies. And it likewise is assumed that only violence or the threat of violence will permit a state court to act. The considerations urged to sustain judicial jurisdiction in the present case were tentatively reflected in pre-Garmon decisions of the Supreme Court, and after full consideration were limited to the particular circumstances of those decisions by Garmon and subsequent decisions. Thus in International Union, United Automobile, etc. Workers v. Russell, 356 U.S. 634, ...

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8 practice notes
  • Linn v. United Plant Guard Workers of America, Local 114, No. 45
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • February 21, 1966
    ...v. Garmon, 359 U.S. 236, 79 S.Ct. 773, 3 L.Ed.2d 775 (1959), compelled a dismissal on preemption grounds. The Court of Appeals affirmed, 337 F.2d 68, assuming without deciding that the statements in question were 'false, malicious, clearly libelous and damaging to plaintiff, Linn, albeit th......
  • United Steelworkers of America v. Bouligny, Inc, AFL-CI
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • November 22, 1965
    ...subject of litigation, at least initially, in state or federal court. Compare Linn v. United Plant Guard Workers of America, Local 114, 337 F.2d 68 (C.A.6th Cir.), cert. granted, 381 U.S. 923, 85 S.Ct. 1558, 14 L.Ed.2d 682, with Meyer v. Joint Council 53, Intern'l Bro. of Teamsters, etc., 4......
  • Johnston v. Cartwright, No. 17898
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • January 25, 1966
    ...22. The district court is affirmed on both appeals. --------Notes: * Compare the results reached in Linn v. United Plant Guard Workers, 337 F. 2d 68 (6 Cir. 1964), cert. granted 381 U.S. 923, 85 S.Ct. 1558, 14 L.Ed.2d 682, and in Sullivan v. Day Publishing Co., 239 F.Supp. 677 (D.Conn.1965)......
  • Meyer v. Joint Council 53 Intern. Broth. of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America, Local 107
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • January 5, 1965
    ...of the National Labor Relations Board over unfair labor practices and representation elections. Linn v. United Plant Guard Workers, 337 F.2d 68 (6th Cir.1964); Blum v. International Ass'n of Machinists, 42 N.J. 389, 201 A.2d 46 (1964); Hill v. Moe, 367 P.2d 739 (Sup.Ct.Alaska 1961); cert. d......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
8 cases
  • Linn v. United Plant Guard Workers of America, Local 114, No. 45
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • February 21, 1966
    ...v. Garmon, 359 U.S. 236, 79 S.Ct. 773, 3 L.Ed.2d 775 (1959), compelled a dismissal on preemption grounds. The Court of Appeals affirmed, 337 F.2d 68, assuming without deciding that the statements in question were 'false, malicious, clearly libelous and damaging to plaintiff, Linn, albeit th......
  • United Steelworkers of America v. Bouligny, Inc, AFL-CI
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • November 22, 1965
    ...subject of litigation, at least initially, in state or federal court. Compare Linn v. United Plant Guard Workers of America, Local 114, 337 F.2d 68 (C.A.6th Cir.), cert. granted, 381 U.S. 923, 85 S.Ct. 1558, 14 L.Ed.2d 682, with Meyer v. Joint Council 53, Intern'l Bro. of Teamsters, etc., 4......
  • Johnston v. Cartwright, No. 17898
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • January 25, 1966
    ...22. The district court is affirmed on both appeals. --------Notes: * Compare the results reached in Linn v. United Plant Guard Workers, 337 F. 2d 68 (6 Cir. 1964), cert. granted 381 U.S. 923, 85 S.Ct. 1558, 14 L.Ed.2d 682, and in Sullivan v. Day Publishing Co., 239 F.Supp. 677 (D.Conn.1965)......
  • Meyer v. Joint Council 53 Intern. Broth. of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America, Local 107
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • January 5, 1965
    ...of the National Labor Relations Board over unfair labor practices and representation elections. Linn v. United Plant Guard Workers, 337 F.2d 68 (6th Cir.1964); Blum v. International Ass'n of Machinists, 42 N.J. 389, 201 A.2d 46 (1964); Hill v. Moe, 367 P.2d 739 (Sup.Ct.Alaska 1961); cert. d......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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