Milk Drivers, Dairy and Ice Cream v. Roberts Dairy, No. 4:03-CV-40385.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States State District Court of Southern District of Iowa
Writing for the CourtGritzner
Citation294 F.Supp.2d 1050
PartiesMILK DRIVERS, DAIRY AND ICE CREAM EMPLOYEES, LAUNDRY AND DRY CLEANING DRIVERS, CLERICAL AND ALLIED WORKERS, LOCAL UNION NO. 387 a/w International Brotherhood of Teamsters, AFL-CIO, Plaintiff, v. ROBERTS DAIRY, Defendant.
Docket NumberNo. 4:03-CV-40385.
Decision Date26 November 2003

Page 1050

294 F.Supp.2d 1050
MILK DRIVERS, DAIRY AND ICE CREAM EMPLOYEES, LAUNDRY AND DRY CLEANING DRIVERS, CLERICAL AND ALLIED WORKERS, LOCAL UNION NO. 387 a/w International Brotherhood of Teamsters, AFL-CIO, Plaintiff,
v.
ROBERTS DAIRY, Defendant.
No. 4:03-CV-40385.
United States District Court, S.D. Iowa, Central Division.
November 26, 2003.

Page 1051

Scott D. Soldon, Previant Goldberg Uelmen, Gratz Miller & Brueggemann SC, Milwaukee, WI, Paige E. Fiedler, Fiedler & Townsend PLC, Johnston, IA, for plaintiff.

Sharon K. Malheiro, Davis Brown Koehn Shors & Roberts PC, Des Moines, IA, Stephen M. Darden, Hunter Smith & Davis LLP, Johnson City, TN, for defendant.

ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS

GRITZNER, District Judge.


This matter now comes before the Court on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss (Clerk's No. 3). The Court finds a hearing is not necessary and considers the motion fully submitted. Attorneys for the Plaintiff are Paige Fiedler, Scott Soldon, and Yingtao Ho; attorneys for the Defendant are Sharon Malheiro and Stephen Darden. For the following reasons, the Defendant's Motion to Dismiss is granted in part and denied in part.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The Plaintiff, Milk Drivers, Dairy and Ice Cream Employees, Laundry and Dry Cleaning Drivers, Clerical and Allied

Page 1052

Workers, Local Union No. 387 a/w International Brotherhood of Teamsters, AFLCIO ("Local 387" or "the Union"), filed a Complaint against the Defendant, Roberts Dairy Company ("Roberts Dairy" or "the Company"), on July 11, 2003. On August 8, 2003, Roberts Dairy filed a motion to dismiss the complaint. Because the Court had not received a response to this motion, it filed an order extending the time Local 387 had to respond. The order granted Local 387 until September 15, 2003, to file a resistance to the motion to dismiss. About the same time this order was filed, Local 387 filed a motion for default judgment. This motion was subsequently withdrawn by Local 387. Local 387 then filed a resistance to Defendant's motion to dismiss.

On September 12, 2003, shortly after filing its resistance to Defendant's motion to dismiss and the motion to withdraw its motion for default judgment, Local 387 filed a motion for summary judgment. Roberts Dairy responded to this motion by filing a motion to strike Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment on September 18, 2003.1 Local 387 has since filed an amended motion for summary judgment.

BACKGROUND FACTS

Local 387 is a labor organization within the meaning of 29 U.S.C. § 152(5). Its principal offices are located in Des Moines, Iowa. Local 387 represents route salesmen employed by Roberts Dairy and other employers. This representation is for the purposes of collective bargaining.

Roberts Dairy has a place of business in Des Moines, Iowa. It is an employer in an industry affecting commerce as that term is defined by the Labor Management Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. § 141 et seq.

Local 387 and employers in the dairy industry entered into a collective bargaining agreement entitled Master Dairy Agreement ("the Agreement" or "CBA"). Roberts Dairy is a party to the Agreement. The Agreement sets out the manner of resolving grievances between signatory employers, i.e., Roberts Dairy, and the Union. The Agreement provides that grievances may ultimately be resolved by the Iowa State Joint Market Dairy Grievance Committee ("the Committee"). The Agreement further provides that the decisions made by the Committee are final and binding.

Kent Stuart ("Stuart") was a bargaining unit wholesale route salesman with Roberts Dairy. On February 10, 2003, the Company issued a three-day suspension to Stuart. Darryl David ("David") was a bargaining unit route salesman with Roberts Dairy. On February 27, 2003, the Company discharged David.

These events became the subject of grievances heard by the Committee. On March 24, 2003, the Committee heard the grievances of both Stuart and David. Following a hearing on the available evidence, the Committee issued decisions upholding the grievances of both Stuart and David. Roberts Dairy received notice of the Committee's decisions concerning Stuart and David on March 25, 2003.

According to Local 387, as of the filing of the Complaint, Roberts Dairy has neither complied with the arbitration awards nor moved to vacate them. An employer has 90 days to move to vacate an arbitration award. An employer cannot contest the validity of an award unless it has moved to vacate within this time period. The 90-day period in this case expired on June 25, 2003.

Local 387 now seeks an order confirming and/or enforcing the arbitration award. Roberts Diary has not yet answered the

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complaint as it is awaiting resolution of this motion to dismiss.2

ANALYSIS

Pending before the Court is Defendant's motion to dismiss. Roberts Dairy seeks dismissal of the Plaintiff's complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). The complaint brought by Local 387 seeks confirmation of two arbitration awards. Roberts Dairy contends Local 387 has failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted because confirmation under the Federal Arbitration Act ("FAA") is unavailable here. Meanwhile, Local 387 maintains the arbitration awards at issue here are subject to judicial confirmation and enforcement under the FAA and the Labor Management Relations Act ("LMRA").

A. Standard for Motion to Dismiss

Rule 12(b)(6) allows the court to dismiss a cause of action for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). Motions under this rule "can serve a useful purpose in disposing of legal issues with a minimum of time and expense to the interested parties." Hiland Dairy, Inc. v. Kroger Co., 402 F.2d 968, 973 (8th Cir.1968), cert. denied, 395 U.S. 961, 89 S.Ct. 2096, 23 L.Ed.2d 748 (1969). "The issue is not whether a plaintiff will ultimately prevail, but rather whether the plaintiff is entitled to offer evidence in support of the plaintiff's claims." DeWit v. Firstar Corp., 879 F.Supp. 947, 959 (N.D.Iowa 1995) (citing Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236, 94 S.Ct. 1683, 40 L.Ed.2d 90 (1974), and United States v. Aceto Agric. Chem. Corp., 872 F.2d 1373, 1376 (8th Cir.1989)). "A complaint should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff cannot prove any set of facts in support of his claim that would entitle him to relief." Schaller Tel. Co. v. Golden Sky Sys., Inc., 298 F.3d 736, 740 (8th Cir.2002).

In considering a motion to dismiss, the court must accept as true all of the plaintiff's allegations. Cruz v. Beto, 405 U.S. 319, 322, 92 S.Ct. 1079, 31 L.Ed.2d 263 (1972); Concerned Citizens of Neb. v. United States Nuclear Reg. Comm'n, 970 F.2d 421, 425 (8th Cir.1992). The court must also liberally construe those allegations. DeWit, 879 F.Supp. at 959 (citing Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46, 78 S.Ct. 99, 2 L.Ed.2d 80 (1957)). "[A] court should grant the motion and dismiss the action `only if it is clear that no relief could be granted under any set of facts that could be proved consistent with the allegations.'" Handeen v. Lemaire, 112 F.3d 1339, 1347 (8th Cir.1997) (quoting Hishon v. King & Spalding, 467 U.S. 69, 73, 104 S.Ct. 2229, 81 L.Ed.2d 59 (1984)).

A court should review only the pleadings in addressing a motion to dismiss to determine whether they state a claim upon which relief can be granted. See Fed. R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6); DeWit, 879 F.Supp. at 959-60. There are a few narrow exceptions that allow a court to also take into account public records, documents central to the plaintiff's complaint, or documents sufficiently referred to in the complaint. See In re Eng'g Animation Sec. Litig., 110 F.Supp.2d 1183, 1189 (S.D.Iowa 2000) (finding a court may take into account "all portions of documents relied upon in plaintiff's complaints and of undisputed authenticity even though they are not physically attached to the pleadings" when considering a motion to dismiss) (citations omitted); Greenier v. Pace, Local No. 1188, 201 F.Supp.2d 172, 177 (D.Me.2002) (finding narrow exception that allows a court to

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take into account documents whose authenticity is undisputed, public records, documents central to the plaintiff's complaint, and documents sufficiently referred to in the complaint). Using these articulated standards, the Court now considers the contentions made in the Defendant's motion to dismiss. The Court also considers the parties' Agreement as this document is central to both the Plaintiff's complaint and the Defendant's Rule 12(b)(6) motion.3

B. Bases for Relief Pleaded in Complaint

The central issue is whether the Plaintiff stated two separate bases for relief in its complaint. The pertinent paragraph, Paragraph 1 of the complaint, states in its entirety:

This is an application for an order confirming an arbitration award made pursuant to the United States Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. § 1 et. seq. This court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this action without regard to the amount in controversy by virtue of 9 U.S.C. § 9, 29 U.S.C. § 185 and 28 U.S.C. § 1337.

Plaintiff contends this paragraph properly pleaded 9 U.S.C. § 9 and 29 U.S.C. § 185 as bases for relief. Roberts Dairy argues Plaintiff did not plead 29 U.S.C. § 185 as a basis for relief, but only as a basis for jurisdiction, thereby failing to give "notice" that a substantive claim is made under 29 U.S.C. § 185 as well.

1. Claim Under the FAA, 9 U.S.C. § 9

Defendant further argues that dismissal is appropriate as the Plaintiff does not have a cause of action for confirmation of an arbitration award under the FAA, 9 U.S.C. § 9. Roberts Dairy contends that confirmation of an arbitration award is available only when the parties agree to allow judicial confirmation. Roberts Dairy states that no such agreement was made and attaches a copy of the parties' CBA as proof that no such agreement is contained therein.

"It...

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4 practice notes
  • Ameriprise Bank, FSB v. PNC Bank, Nat'l Ass'n, Civil Action No. 12-1113
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. Western District of Pennsylvania
    • November 26, 2012
    ...Arbitration Rules," which themselves provide for such confirmation); Milk Drivers, Dairy & Ice Cream Employees v. Roberts Dairy, 294 F.Supp.2d 1050, 1055 (S.D.Iowa 2003)(discussing the different approaches taken by federal courts to the issue while explaining that, in the Eighth Circuit, "p......
  • Christus St. Vincent Reg'l Med. Ctr. v. Dist. 1199NM, No. CIV 17-0452 JB\KK
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of New Mexico
    • March 30, 2018
    ...Drivers, Dairy & Ice Cream Employees, Laundry & Dry Cleaning Drivers, Clerical & Allied Workers, Local Union No. 387 v. Roberts Dairy, 294 F.Supp.2d 1050, 1056 (S.D. Iowa 2003) ("Federal courts have the power to specifically enforce collective bargaining agreements and any awards made throu......
  • Van Horn v. Van Horn, No. C04-4020-MWB.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Northern District of Iowa
    • October 19, 2005
    ...to such in an express, written agreement); see also Milk Drivers, Dairy & Ice Cream Employees, Local Union No. 387 v. Roberts Dairy, 294 F.Supp.2d 1050, 1055 (S.D.Iowa 2003). The mere inclusion of the statement in an agreement between the parties that the arbitration is final and binding is......
  • Vest v. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc., Case No. 18-00262-CV-W-ODS
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Western District of Missouri
    • August 21, 2018
    ...Drivers, Dairy & Ice Cream Emps., Laundry & Dry Cleaning Drivers, Clerical & Allied Workers, Local Union No. 387 v. Roberts Dairy , 294 F.Supp.2d 1050, 1059 (S.D. Iowa 2003) (citations omitted). Under the arbitration agreement, Plaintiff may only face an "action" to "enforce an arbitration ......
4 cases
  • Ameriprise Bank, FSB v. PNC Bank, Nat'l Ass'n, Civil Action No. 12-1113
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. Western District of Pennsylvania
    • November 26, 2012
    ...Arbitration Rules," which themselves provide for such confirmation); Milk Drivers, Dairy & Ice Cream Employees v. Roberts Dairy, 294 F.Supp.2d 1050, 1055 (S.D.Iowa 2003)(discussing the different approaches taken by federal courts to the issue while explaining that, in the Eighth Circuit, "p......
  • Christus St. Vincent Reg'l Med. Ctr. v. Dist. 1199NM, No. CIV 17-0452 JB\KK
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of New Mexico
    • March 30, 2018
    ...Drivers, Dairy & Ice Cream Employees, Laundry & Dry Cleaning Drivers, Clerical & Allied Workers, Local Union No. 387 v. Roberts Dairy, 294 F.Supp.2d 1050, 1056 (S.D. Iowa 2003) ("Federal courts have the power to specifically enforce collective bargaining agreements and any awards made throu......
  • Van Horn v. Van Horn, No. C04-4020-MWB.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Northern District of Iowa
    • October 19, 2005
    ...to such in an express, written agreement); see also Milk Drivers, Dairy & Ice Cream Employees, Local Union No. 387 v. Roberts Dairy, 294 F.Supp.2d 1050, 1055 (S.D.Iowa 2003). The mere inclusion of the statement in an agreement between the parties that the arbitration is final and binding is......
  • Vest v. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc., Case No. 18-00262-CV-W-ODS
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Western District of Missouri
    • August 21, 2018
    ...Drivers, Dairy & Ice Cream Emps., Laundry & Dry Cleaning Drivers, Clerical & Allied Workers, Local Union No. 387 v. Roberts Dairy , 294 F.Supp.2d 1050, 1059 (S.D. Iowa 2003) (citations omitted). Under the arbitration agreement, Plaintiff may only face an "action" to "enforce an arbitration ......

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