Waialua Agr. Co. v. Maneja

Decision Date10 November 1949
Docket NumberNo. 11952.,11952.
Citation178 F.2d 603
PartiesWAIALUA AGR. CO., Limited, v. MANEJA et al. MANEJA et al. v. WAIALUA AGR. CO., Limited.
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Ninth Circuit

Rufus G. Poole, Charles Fahy, Milton C. Denbo, Philip Levy, Washington, D. C. (Pratt, Tavares & Cassidy, E. E. Moore, Jr., Honolulu, T. H., of counsel), for appellant Waialua Agr. Co.

Gladstein, Andersen, Resner & Sawyer, Richard Gladstein, Ewing Sibbett, San Francisco, Cal., for appellants Maneja and others.

Paul G. Borron, Jr., Plaquemine, Louisiana, Clarence J. Bourg, Washington, D. C., for American Sugar Cane League, as amicus curiae.

Donald Kirkpatrick, Chicago, Ill. (Paul E. Mathias, Harry Meloy and George E. Merker, Jr., Chicago, Ill., of counsel), for American Farm Bureau Federation, as amicus curiae.

William S. Tyson, Sol., Bessie Margolin, Asst. Sol., William A. Lowe, Joseph M. Stone, Attorneys, Wage & Hour Division, U. S. Dept. of Labor, Washington, D. C., Kenneth C. Robertson, Regional Atty., San Francisco, Cal., for Wage & Hour Division, as amicus curiae.

Before STEPHENS and HEALY, Circuit Judges, and FEE, District Judge.

JAMES ALGER FEE, District Judge.

This is a proceeding for a declaratory judgment, brought by Waialua Agricultural Company, Limited, a corporation, against Ciraco Maneja and forty-seven other persons as defendants, individually and as representative of all other employees of plaintiff who are similarly situated. Included also were Local 145-7 of the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union, and Jack Hall, Regional Director, Territory of Hawaii, of the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union, individually and "as representative of all employees of the plaintiff who are named herein as defendants and of all other employees of the plaintiff who are similarly situated."

The complaint sets up a general description of the operations of the plaintiff corporation and alleges that a collective bargaining agreement was entered into between plaintiff and defendant International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union, Local 145-7. The complaint likewise sets up a detailed statement of the duties of each employee in somewhat vague terms. The prayer of the complaint is that the employee defendants named be declared employed in agriculture and, if not, each be declared to be engaged in the processing of sugar cane into sugar, and that certain of the employee defendants, while engaged in certain tasks in connection with the plantation villages, be declared not engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce. The answer contains admissions and denials and prays a declaration that none of the employees and defendants is engaged in agriculture, and, while it is admitted that certain employees were engaged from time to time during certain work weeks in first processing, further prays the Court declare that none of them was engaged in processing as an adjunct to agriculture and that the Court declare all the employee defendants were engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce, and that all of the employees were subject to the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C.A. § 201 et seq., and prays for an accounting.

There was then filed an elaborate stipulation which set up that competent witnesses would testify as to voluminous facts relating to the general situation. Part I of the stipulation, in paragraphs 1 to 37, inclusive, contains the agreement that the witnesses would testify to the organization of Waialua as a corporation and a detailed and meticulously precise statement of its operations and activities throughout the vast setup. Part II of the stipulation, under paragraphs 38 to 86, inclusive, contains the agreement that the witnesses would testify to a general description (not related by particular hours, weeks, months or years or to any particular calendar period) of the work performed by the forty-eight different employee defendants of the Plantation. Part III of the stipulation is devoted to a limitation of the scope of the controversy and dispute and reads as follows:

"It is Hereby Further Stipulated by and between the parties hereto as follows:

"This controversy involved in the suit pursuant to which this stipulation is made and filed raises the question of whether the employees of the Plantation named as parties defendant herein and all other employees of the Plantation who are similarly situated are entitled to overtime compensation pursuant to the provisions of Section 7(a) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.

"No controversy exists with respect to the application of the minimum wage provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to the defendant employees herein or any other employees of the Plantation similarly situated as the lowest paid employee of the Plantation is paid at an hourly rate in excess of that required by the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.

"The parties are agreed that any employee named herein as defendant who is held not to be subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 or who is held to be exempt therefrom, and any other employee of the Plantation similarly situated, is subject to the maximum hour provisions of the Hawaii Wage and Hour Law and must be paid at a rate of not less than one and one-half (1½) times the regular rate at which he is employed for all hours in excess of forty-eight (48) hours per week."

This stipulation was entered September 12, 1947.

So far as the record of the trial on September 18, 19, 22 and 23, 1947, was concerned, it appears the testimony consisted altogether of one witness for the defendants, who was the Regional Director for the Union, and one witness for the plaintiff, who was the Assistant Manager of the Plantation.

After the trial, the defendants filed an amended answer and cross-complaint November 3, 1947, wherein it was set up that the plaintiff had failed and refused since January 19, 1946, to compensate the defendants in accordance with the provisions of the Act. This was made an issue by the plaintiff in a reply to the cross-complaint, in which reliance was placed in part upon Section 10 of the Portal-to-Portal Act of 1947, 29 U.S.C.A. § 259. However, pursuant to a joint motion for separate trial upon the issue raised by this portion of the defendants' amended answer and cross-complaint and plaintiff's answer and cross-complaint, the Court, by order dated March 22, 1948, granted the motion. This issue was never tried and is not here presented. We disregard this matter, for the Trial Court expressly directed entry of judgment upon the case presented by the original complaint and original answer according to the provisions of Rule 54(b), Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, 28 U.S.C.A. The cause must stand or fall on these alone.

The Court thereupon took these "issues" under advisement, and thereafter filed an opinion entitled in the record, "Findings with Conclusions," which appears in Waialua Agricultural Company, Limited v. Ciraco Maneja et al., D.C., 77 F.Supp. 480. No findings of fact were made except as may appear therein. A judgment was then entered. This "judgment" does not relate to any of the individual defendants by name, but consists of a series of generalizations.

From this judgment, both sides appeal. Plaintiff attacks certain portions thereof. Defendants cross-appeal from other portions. Both appeals must be sustained. The "judgment" is a nullity. It gives no mandate or command as to the individual defendants named in the action. This document consists of a series of economic maxims which may or may not be applicable to the conditions and hours of work and overtime, if any, performed by Ciraco Maneja or Fumio Sunahara or Moses Fernandez or any other named individual defendant. It is true these expressions mention plaintiff and employees of plaintiff, as may be noted. But there is no declaration of the rights of these defendants or any one of them either positively or negatively. There is not the positiveness of command or declaration required by a judgment.1 The reason a judgment must be positive and founded upon fact is that it is to stand as res judicata between the parties and privies.2 Unless the facts found as a basis for the judgment are definite and positive, the ultimate characteristic of finality would be dissipated.

The second fatal defect in this pronouncement is that it lacks findings of fact. It is true, both parties refer to the "judgment" and opinion as though there were findings. But this mutual disregard of error which they had by one manner or another induced cannot avail to have this Court consider a judgment not founded in fact.3 The Trial Court, in the opinion on file, indicated acceptance of the error superinduced by counsel and inherent in the inception of the case and in all the proceedings.

It is obvious no rule of conduct in respect to future activities and pay practices can be applied unless there are known and found as facts what work week, what employees, what activities and how connected with interstate commerce, agricultural or housing, through the particular employee. Otherwise, the process is not judicial but administrative or legislative. See Trans-Pacific Airlines, Ltd. v. Hawaiian Airlines, Ltd., 9 Cir., 174 F.2d 63. The absence of findings as to the particular employees named as defendants leaves no pediment on which a judgment can stand.4 The Trial Court cites Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad Co. et al. v. Muscoda Local No. 123, 321 U.S. 590, 64 S.Ct. 698, 88 L.Ed. 949, 152 A.L.R. 1014, and Jewell Ridge Coal Corporation v. Local 6167, 325 U.S. 161, 65 S. Ct. 1063, 89 L.Ed. 1534, as instances in which declaratory proceedings were carried to conclusion in interpretation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. But in each of these cases, detailed and specific findings were entered.5

The difficulties caused by lack of findings, precise and definite, may be indicated. First, although the...

To continue reading

Request your trial
22 cases
  • Rieser v. Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit
    • June 9, 1955
    ...Co. v. Commodity Credit Corp., 7 Cir., 196 F.2d 416; Blair v. Cleveland Twist Drill Co., 7 Cir., 197 F.2d 842; Waialua Agricultural Co. v. Maneja, 9 Cir., 178 F.2d 603, certiorari denied 339 U.S. 920, 70 S.Ct. 622, 94 L.Ed. 1344; Prickett v. Consolidated Liquidating Corp., 9 Cir., 180 F.2d ......
  • Aerojet-General Corp. v. Askew
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Fifth Circuit
    • April 21, 1975
    ...12 S.Ct. 400, 36 L.Ed. 176 (1892); Chamberlain v. Cleveland, 66 U.S. 419, 17 L.Ed. 93 (1862); Waialua Agr. Co. v. Maneja, 9 Cir., 1949, 178 F.2d 603. Federal courts have declined to follow nonadversary decisions of state courts as well as federal courts. In federal taxation cases the federa......
  • Berry v. Sonoma County
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Northern District of California
    • May 1, 1992
    ...transport a body, if necessary. 6 The Ninth Circuit noted that such a case required detailed and specific findings Wailua Agr. Co. v. Maneja 178 F.2d 603, 607 (9th Cir. 1949). 7 Firefighters who were late in responding or missed a callback received a "white slip," a form of discipline which......
  • Waialua Agr. Co. v. Maneja
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Hawaii
    • May 3, 1951
    ...action was remanded to this court for further proceedings by a judgment of the Court of Appeals rendered November 10, 1949, reported at 178 F.2d 603. Following the remand, all pleadings heretofore filed in this action were amended by the parties, so as to drop certain parties defendant from......
  • 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