Moglia v. Geoghegan, No. 482

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
Writing for the CourtWATERMAN and FEINBERG, Circuit , and ZAMPANO
Citation403 F.2d 110
Decision Date06 November 1968
Docket NumberNo. 482,Docket 31450.
PartiesKathleen MOGLIA, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. James GEOGHEGAN et al., Defendants-Appellees.

403 F.2d 110 (1968)

Kathleen MOGLIA, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
James GEOGHEGAN et al., Defendants-Appellees.

No. 482, Docket 31450.

United States Court of Appeals Second Circuit.

Argued June 4, 1968.

Decided November 6, 1968.

Certiorari Denied March 24, 1969.


403 F.2d 111
COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED
403 F.2d 112
Herman Englander, Englander & Englander, New York City, for plaintiff-appellant

Samuel J. Cohen, Stanley M. Berman, Cohen and Weiss, New York City, for defendants-appellees.

Before WATERMAN and FEINBERG, Circuit Judges, and ZAMPANO, District Judge.*

Certiorari Denied March 24, 1969. See 89 S.Ct. 1193.

WATERMAN, Circuit Judge:

This is an appeal from a judgment of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, dismissing plaintiff-appellant's complaint. Appellant sought a declaratory judgment pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2201 and Rule 57, Fed.R.Civ.P., declaring her to be entitled to receive payments under the Pension Plan of Local 282-Pension Trust Fund of $200.00 per month for a period of thirty-six months commencing May 1, 1965; directing appellees, as trustees of said Fund, to make such payments; and awarding her any reasonable attorney's fees incurred by her in enforcing the trust. Jurisdiction in the district court was founded on the existence of a question arising under a statute of the United States regulating interstate commerce, the Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947, § 302, 29 U.S.C. § 186, making the action one of which the district court had original jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1337. Appellees moved for summary judgment on the ground that appellant was not entitled to the relief she sought. Appellant also moved for summary judgment. Appellant's motion was denied and appellees' motion was granted. The learned district judge explained the result he reached in a reasoned opinion which contained the detailed facts involved. His opinion is reported at 267 F.Supp. 641 (D.C. 1967). We affirm the result reached below.

Appellant is the widow of John J. Moglia (Moglia) who died on August 7, 1966. At all times relevant to this case Moglia had been a member in good standing of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America, Local 282 (Local 282), a labor organization representing employees of employers within the meaning of Section 302

403 F.2d 113
(a) (2), Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947; 29 U.S.C. § 186(a) (2)

Appellees are the Trustees (Trustees) of the Local 282-Pension Trust Fund (Fund) which was established in 1955 by Local 282 and various employers who had entered into collective bargaining agreements with the Local. The Fund was the successor of other trust funds in which the Local had theretofore participated and was created by execution of an agreement and declaration of trust (trust agreement).

The trust agreement authorized the Trustees to receive payments from employers who signed collective bargaining agreements with the Local requiring such payments. The trust agreement specified that the Fund be used to provide retirement benefits for employees of contributing employers pursuant to a Pension Plan to be formulated by the Trustees.

The Fund was supposed to be maintained in strict conformity with Section 302(a) and (b) and with Section 302(c) (5) of the Labor-Management Act of 1947. Section 302(a) and (b) provide as follows:

(a) It shall be unlawful for any employer or association of employers or any person who acts as a labor relations expert, adviser, or consultant to an employer or who acts in the interest of an employer to pay, lend or deliver, or agree to pay, lend, or deliver, any money or other thing of value —
(1) to any representative of any of his employees who are employed in an industry affecting commerce; or
(2) to any labor organization, or any officer or employee thereof, which represents, seeks to represent, or would admit to membership, any of the employees of such employer who are employed in an industry affecting commerce;
* * * * * *
(b) (1) It shall be unlawful for any person to request, demand, receive, or accept, or agree to receive or accept, any payment, loan, or delivery of any money or other thing of value prohibited by subsection (a) of this section.

Violations of Section 302 are punishable by criminal penalties. Section 302 (d) provides:

(d) Any person who willfully violates any of the provisions of this section shall, upon conviction thereof, be guilty of a misdemeanor and be subject to a fine of not more than $10,000 or to imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.

Section 302(c) (5) establishes limited exceptions to subsections (a) and (b) for payments to trust funds which meet specified requirements. The statutory requirements are that the employer's payments be made

* * * to a trust fund established by such representative, for the sole and exclusive benefit of the employees of such employer, and their families and dependents (or of such employees, families, and dependents jointly with the employees of other employers making similar payments, and their families and dependents): Provided, that (A) such payments are held in trust for the purpose of paying, either from principal or income or both, for the benefit of employees, their families and dependents, for medical or hospital care, pensions on retirement or death of employees, compensation for injuries or illness resulting from occupational activity or insurance to provide any of the foregoing, or unemployment benefits or life insurance, disability and sickness insurance, or accident insurance; (B) the detailed basis on which such payments are to be made is specified in a written agreement with the employer, and employees and employers are equally represented in the administration of such fund, together with such neutral persons as the representatives of the employers and the representatives of employees may agree upon and in the event the employer and employee
403 F.2d 114
groups deadlock on the administration of such fund and there are no neutral persons empowered to break such deadlock, such agreement provides that the two groups shall agree on an impartial umpire to decide such dispute, or in event of their failure to agree within a reasonable length of time, an impartial umpire to decide such dispute shall, on petition of either group, be appointed by the district court of the United States for the district where the trust fund has its principal office, and shall also contain provisions for an annual audit of the trust fund, a statement of the results of which shall be available for inspection by interested persons at the principal office of the trust fund and at such other places as may be designated in such written agreement; and (C) such payments as are intended to be used for the purpose of providing pensions or annuities for employees are made to a separate trust which provides that the funds held therein cannot be used for any purpose other than paying such pensions or annuities; * * *.

The trust agreement was written to conform with the statutory mandate and spelled out limitations upon payments into and out of the Fund. It is uncontroverted that the trust agreement at all times contained the limitations required by Section 302.

From July 1, 1953, through March 31, 1965, Moglia's employer for twenty-eight years, Elmhurst Contracting Co., Inc., or its successor (Elmhurst), made payments into the Fund on behalf of Moglia and other employees and such payments were received and accepted by the Fund. During this period, the books of Elmhurst were regularly audited by auditors for the Fund to assure that the payments being made were in the proper amounts.

On April 15, 1965, listing Elmhurst as his only employer, Moglia filed an application for a pension with the Fund. It is uncontroverted that Moglia's age, length of service, and other qualifications for benefits under the Pension Plan of the Fund at the time of the filing of his application for a pension, and up to the time of his death, were such that, if he were entitled to benefits under the Pension Plan, he would have been entitled to payments for life commencing May 1, 1965, at the rate of $200.00 per month. If Moglia was entitled to these payments and he did not receive them during his lifetime, appellant, as his widow, would be entitled, pursuant to the provisions of the Pension Plan, to receive them for a period of thirty-six months, commencing May 1, 1965.

For some reason, the Fund does not investigate pension eligibility until after an application for pension benefits has been filed, and, after Moglia applied, an investigation of Elmhurst's status with the Fund revealed that Elmhurst had never entered into a collective bargaining agreement or a pension trust agreement with the Local although the Local had often requested it to do so.

The facts surrounding Moglia's application were reported to the Trustees at a meeting on June 15, 1965, but action on the application was deferred until the Trustees had an opportunity to consult with counsel. They were advised by counsel that payment to Moglia was prohibited by the Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947 and by the trust agreement, and that Moglia's application must be denied. They were also advised that the Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947 and the trust agreement prohibited them from accepting Elmhurst's payments. Accordingly, Moglia's application was rejected by the Trustees, and all the Elmhurst payments were refunded to Elmhurst. Elmhurst refused to accept the refund pending termination of the present litigation, and its payments are now being held apart from the rest of the Fund to be disposed of in accordance with the final determination of this action.

The question presented to us by appellant is whether she is entitled to receive pension benefit payments from the Local 282-Pension Trust Fund notwithstanding

403 F.2d 115
the fact...

To continue reading

Request your trial
124 practice notes
  • Malone v. Western Conf. of Teamsters Pension Trust
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • September 25, 1980
    ...to a union pension trust fund may qualify as beneficiaries of a Section 302 trust." (Emphasis added; Moglia v. Geoghegan (2d Cir. 1968) 403 F.2d 110, 116 (cert. den., 394 U.S. 919, 89 S.Ct. 1193, 22 L.Ed.2d 453).) "The standards (of Sec. 186) . . . are met when benefits are restricted Page ......
  • Mobile Mechanical Contractors Ass'n v. Carlough, Civ. A. No. 74-409-H.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Southern District of Alabama
    • August 17, 1978
    ...4. Section 302 of the LMRA is a law of the United States regulating commerce within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 1337. Moglia v. Geoghegan, 403 F.2d 110, 112 (2d Cir. 1968), cert. denied, 394 U.S. 919, 89 S.Ct. 1193, 22 L.Ed.2d 453 (1969). See also Avco Corp. v. Aero Lodge 735, IAM, 390 U.S. ......
  • Kwatcher v. Massachusetts Service Employees Pension Fund, No. 88-1930
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (1st Circuit)
    • April 7, 1989
    ...are only for a proper purpose and ... that the benefits from the established fund reach only the proper parties." Moglia v. Geoghegan, 403 F.2d 110, 116 (2d Cir.1968), cert. denied, 394 U.S. 919, 89 S.Ct. 1193, 22 L.Ed.2d 453 These parallel enactments reflect Congress's desire "to implement......
  • Reiherzer v. Shannon, No. 77-1911
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • August 11, 1978
    ...F.2d 1106, 1108-09 (9th Cir. 1976) (per curiam); Phillips v. Kennedy, 542 F.2d 52, 55 n.8 (8th Cir. 1976) (dictum); Moglia v. Geoghegan, 403 F.2d 110, 117-18 (2d Cir. 1968), Cert. denied, 394 U.S. 919, 89 S.Ct. 1193, 22 L.Ed.2d 453 (1969); Chamberlain v. Bakery Confectionary Union & Industr......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
125 cases
  • Malone v. Western Conf. of Teamsters Pension Trust
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • September 25, 1980
    ...to a union pension trust fund may qualify as beneficiaries of a Section 302 trust." (Emphasis added; Moglia v. Geoghegan (2d Cir. 1968) 403 F.2d 110, 116 (cert. den., 394 U.S. 919, 89 S.Ct. 1193, 22 L.Ed.2d 453).) "The standards (of Sec. 186) . . . are met when benefits are restricted Page ......
  • Mobile Mechanical Contractors Ass'n v. Carlough, Civ. A. No. 74-409-H.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Southern District of Alabama
    • August 17, 1978
    ...4. Section 302 of the LMRA is a law of the United States regulating commerce within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 1337. Moglia v. Geoghegan, 403 F.2d 110, 112 (2d Cir. 1968), cert. denied, 394 U.S. 919, 89 S.Ct. 1193, 22 L.Ed.2d 453 (1969). See also Avco Corp. v. Aero Lodge 735, IAM, 390 U.S. ......
  • Kwatcher v. Massachusetts Service Employees Pension Fund, No. 88-1930
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (1st Circuit)
    • April 7, 1989
    ...are only for a proper purpose and ... that the benefits from the established fund reach only the proper parties." Moglia v. Geoghegan, 403 F.2d 110, 116 (2d Cir.1968), cert. denied, 394 U.S. 919, 89 S.Ct. 1193, 22 L.Ed.2d 453 These parallel enactments reflect Congress's desire "to implement......
  • Reiherzer v. Shannon, No. 77-1911
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • August 11, 1978
    ...F.2d 1106, 1108-09 (9th Cir. 1976) (per curiam); Phillips v. Kennedy, 542 F.2d 52, 55 n.8 (8th Cir. 1976) (dictum); Moglia v. Geoghegan, 403 F.2d 110, 117-18 (2d Cir. 1968), Cert. denied, 394 U.S. 919, 89 S.Ct. 1193, 22 L.Ed.2d 453 (1969); Chamberlain v. Bakery Confectionary Union & Industr......
  • 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