Vilter Mfg. Co. v. Humphrey

Decision Date24 September 1907
Citation112 N.W. 1095,132 Wis. 587
CourtWisconsin Supreme Court


Appeal from Circuit Court, Milwaukee County; J. J. Dick, Judge.

Action by the Vilter Manufacturing Company against A. C. Humphrey, impleaded with the Iron Moulders' Union No. 125 and others. From an order denying a motion to punish defendant, A. C. Humphrey, for contempt in violating an injunctional order, plaintiff appeals. Reversed and remanded, with directions.

This is an appeal from an order denying a motion to punish the respondent for contempt of court in violating an injunctional order. The action was in equity to enjoin strikers and labor unions from interfering with the plaintiff's business. The action was brought against certain unincorporated lodges of the Iron Moulders' Union, as well as against certain individuals, including the respondent, alleged to be members of such unions. The plaintiff is a manufacturing corporation located at Milwaukee operating a large iron foundry, and it charges in its complaint that the defendants conspired together to compel the plaintiff to grant certain demands of the union with regard to piece work, the employment of nonunion men and apprentices, weekly payment of wages, etc., and that on the plaintiff's refusal to accede to such demands the defendants, who were in the employ of the plaintiff, struck on the 2d day of May, 1906; that after said strike, in furtherance of such conspiracy, the defendants, by picketing and congregating in large numbers around plaintiff's shop, by threatening plaintiff's remaining employés with violence, by persuasion, and by other means, have carried on the conspiracy to unlawfully compel plaintiff to grant such demands, to the great injury of plaintiff's business; and a perpetual injunction against all acts tending or intended to compel the plaintiff to operate its plant upon the terms so demanded was prayed for. Upon this complaint and certain corroborating affidavits a temporary injunctional order was obtained from a court commissioner August 3, 1906, couched in very sweeping terms, restraining the defendants, among other things, from interfering in any way with the plaintiff's business or property, from compelling, or attempting to compel, by threats, intimidation, fraud, persuasion, or violence, any of the plaintiff's employés from leaving its employ, or any other person from entering its employ, from congregating about the plaintiff's shop or picketing or guarding the streets for such purpose, from assaulting employés, or going to their homes to intimidate or coerce them, from persuading or inducing any person to join said conspiracy, and “from doing any act tending or intended to compel the plaintiff against its will or the will of its officers to operate its factory or employ or discharge any workmen in any manner or upon any terms prescribed by any association or union, or to refrain against its will or the will of its officers from operating its said factory in any lawful manner.” The issuance of this injunction was known to the respondent Humphrey. On the 10th of October, 1906, an order to show cause, based upon affidavits charging violation of the injunction by the respondent, was issued, in which it was recited that it appeared “that such violation and misconduct were calculated to and actually did defeat, impede, and prejudice the rights and remedies of the plaintiff,” and he was required to show cause why he should not be punished for such alleged misconduct and violation of the order. The affidavits on which the order was based charged the respondent with continuous picketing of the plaintiff's premises since the service of the injunctional order upon him, also with several specific acts of verbal abuse of the plaintiff's employés while on picket duty. Said affidavits further set forth other acts of abuse and violence on the part of the strikers, and alleged generally that the respondent and the other strikers committed such acts in furtherance of said conspiracy and for the purpose of intimidating and driving out of employment the plaintiff's employés, and thereby caused a reign of fear and terror to exist among such employés, to the great damage of the plaintiff's business. Upon the hearing of the order to show cause, considerable oral testimony was taken, and upon the conclusion of the trial the court made an order denying the motion, on the ground the respondent had “not committed any act in violation of the said temporary injunction, and that he is not in contempt for any violation of said order.”Turner, Hunter & Goff (W. J. Turner, of counsel), for appellant.

Rubin & Zabel (W. B. Rubin, of counsel),...

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21 cases
  • State ex rel. Rodd v. Verage
    • United States
    • Wisconsin Supreme Court
    • May 17, 1922
    ...575;In re Day, 34 Wis. 638, 642;State ex rel. Meggett v. O'Neill, 104 Wis. 227, 229, 80 N. W. 447;Vilter Mfg. Co. v. Humphrey, 132 Wis. 587, 590, 112 N. W. 1095, 13 L. R. A. (N. S.) 591. If these be separate and distinct proceedings, they must necessarily, as well as logically, be so from s......
  • Red River Valley Brick Corporation v. City of Grand Forks
    • United States
    • North Dakota Supreme Court
    • March 6, 1914
    ... ... Pielke, 9 N.D. 245, 83 ... N.W. 18; Ballston Spa Bank v. Marine Bank, 18 Wis ... 491; Vilter Mfg. Co. v. Humphrey, 132 Wis. 587, 13 ... L.R.A. (N.S.) 591, 112 N.W. 1095; Rev. Codes 1905, § ... ...
  • In re Eskay
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Third Circuit
    • September 3, 1941
    ...v. State, 63 Ohio St. 347, 58 N.E. 803; cf. Lamb v. Cramer, 285 U.S. 217, 52 S.Ct. 315, 76 L.Ed. 715; Vilter Mfg. Co. v. Humphrey, 132 Wis. 587, 112 N. W. 1095, 13 L.R.A.,N.S., 591. 20 People v. Spain, 307 Ill. 283, 138 N. E. 614. 21 Gompers v. Buck's Stove & Range Co., 221 U.S. 418, 31 S.C......
  • Oliveto v. Circuit Court for Crawford County
    • United States
    • Wisconsin Court of Appeals
    • June 30, 1994
    ..."Criminal contempt is a crime in the ordinary sense...." Bloom, 391 U.S. at 201, 88 S.Ct. at 1481; see also Vilter Mfg. Co. v. Humphrey, 132 Wis. 587, 590, 112 N.W. 1095, 1096 (1907). While the legislature has abolished the distinction between civil and criminal contempt, it has made the pr......
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