LOCATION: U.S. District Court Southern District of California
DOCKET NO.: 49
DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1958-1962)
CITATION: 358 US 283 (1959)
ARGUED: Dec 10, 1958 / Dec 11, 1958
DECIDED: Jan 19, 1959
Facts of the case
Media for Local 24, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America, AFL-CIO v. OliverAudio Transcription for Oral Argument - December 10, 1958 in Local 24, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America, AFL-CIO v. Oliver
Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - December 11, 1958 in Local 24, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America, AFL-CIO v. Oliver
Hugo L. Black:
Uelmen, you may proceed with the case which you have before us.
If the Court please.
I think that I have some five minutes left of my time.
I was so advised and I should like to devote that very brief time to making more definitive answer to a question which was put by Mr. Justice Whittaker at the beginning of the argument yesterday.
The question as I recall it was whether or not there was any significance to the fact or should be attached to the fact that these leases or contracts of transportation or at least the one which appears in the record was executed prior to the execution of the 1955 contract which was the subject of litigation.
I feel that the findings of the Ohio Courts and the judgment of the Ohio Courts make it clear that this case was not litigated on the idea of any malicious interference with an existing contract right, but that it was litigated on the idea that this contract was per se in violation of the particular statute of the State of Ohio which is here involved.
At Page 256 of the record, it appears the findings of fact in the judgment of the Court.
And I would call to this Court's attention, finding 2 (d) that Article 32 squarely is in conflict with the public policy of the State of Ohio as reflected on Section 1331.01 Revised Code.
And it is void and unenforceable.
The Court goes on in its judgment and it's the first paragraph of its judgment to say that the defendants are hereby perpetually restrained and enjoined from entering into any agreements one with the other or carrying out the effects, requirements or terms of any such agreement which will require the alteration, cancellation, or violation of plaintiff-appellee's existing lease or leasing agreement or any such agreement hereafter renewed or renegotiated and entered into.
The Court then goes on in subsequent paragraphs to restrain these defendants from any such contracts in the future and perpetually enjoins and restrains us from it anytime enforcing Section 30 -- Article 32 of the contract.
I think throughout the litigation, the opinions of the Court, the findings of the courts below, the judgment of the courts below, the question presented was whether or not, this article of this contract was per se void not whether or not it happened to interfere with any particular existing lease arrangement of Revel Oliver or anybody else is.
I might say in that regard that if that were all that were involved in this case, that matter could have and probably would have been settled in the collective bargaining table.
And I would assume that we do not have any right to enter into a contract at this time which would completely destroy existing contracts which a carrier may have with someone else.
That's a matter for bargaining and I supposed it's a matter for exclusion of existing contracts during the course of bargaining.
But that isn't this case.
This is not the case of where the plaintiff comes in and asked only that we refrained from maliciously interfering with an existing agreement.
He comes in and says that our collective bargaining contract is completely void contrary to the public policy of the State of Ohio as expressed in the Antitrust Act of the State of Ohio and therefore we are perpetually restrained from enforcing that contract as to him and as to anybody else.
Not only as to existing contracts but as to contracts he made, enter into with carriers in the future.
So we believe that that particular point was not an issue.
I would further point out as I indicated yesterday that the 1952 contract containing the identical provision, Article 32 was restrained upon its execution and while it was under the cover of that restraint, that the 1953 lease was entered into.
And then that restraint was again imposed upon the 1955 contract subsequently litigated all the way through to completion.
So, as I said yesterday, if these restraints have not been imposed, the carrier as he testified would have been in compliance with the contract and many of the issues which were adjudicated in Ohio under -- under those facts would not have been subject to adjudication in our opinion.
William O. Douglas:
Where is Article 32 in the record?
Article 32 is set forth --
William O. Douglas:
(Inaudible) of discussion.
-- bodily at page 144 of the record in which the contract itself appears --
William O. Douglas:
-- and the particular article itself Your Honor.