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MAURER v. INTERNATIONAL TYPOGRAPHICAL UNION

April 11, 1956

Alfred E. MAURER, Pasquale Cinacio, Stephen Nagurny, Edward Bell, John Gallagher, Myer Portney, Eugene Graham
v.
INTERNATIONAL TYPOGRAPHICAL UNION, Philadelphia Typographical Union No. 2, Sinclair L. Muir, James H. Kelley



The opinion of the court was delivered by: LORD

This matter comes before the Court on plaintiffs' Motion to Remand.

Plaintiffs are all members of Typographical Union No. 2 (hereinafter referred to as 'Union No. 2'), one of the defendants herein. Union No. 2 is chartered by and is an affiliate of International Typographical Union (hereinafter referred to as 'I.T.U.') which is also a defendant. Sinclair L. Muir and James H. Kelley, the other defendants, are President and Secretary-Treasurer, respectively, of Union No. 2.

 I.T.U. and Union No. 2 are both unincorporated associations. I.T.U. has its principal office in Indianapolis, Indiana, while Union No. 2 has its principal office in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The two named officers of Union No. 2 are citizens and residents of Pennsylvania. All of the named plaintiffs are citizens and residents of Pennsylvania except Maurer who is a citizen and resident of New Jersey.

 Plaintiffs sought an injunction in the state court against both unions alleging certain dues and assessments were being demanded of them in violation of the constitution and by-laws of I.T.U. and Union No. 2. The plaintiffs were successful in their suit and an injunction issued prohibiting defendants from pressing such demands respecting dues and assessments and further from interfering in any manner with plaintiffs' membership in Union No. 2 and such rights and privileges as were incident thereto.

 There are several issues raised by the Motion to Remand. However, the first and foremost issue to be considered is 'does this case come within the purview of 28 U.S.C.A. 1441(c)'? Determination of this issue in favor of plaintiffs causes all other issues to become moot and makes it unnecessary to consider them.

 As stated previously, the validity of the principle of removability hinges upon the theory embraced in 28 U.S.C.A. § 1441(c). This section lays down the rule that only where there exists 'a separate and independent claim or cause of action' can a federal court acquire jurisdiction by removal procedures. The section under consideration reads thusly:

 ' § 1441. Actions removable generally

 * * * * * *

 '(c) Whenever a separate and independent claim or cause of action, which would be removable if sued upon alone, is joined with one or more otherwise nonremovable claims or causes of action, the entire case may be removed and the district court may determine all issues therein, or, in its discretion, may remand all matters not otherwise within its original jurisdiction.'

 This section clearly allows the removal of a separate cause of action but not a separable controversy unless the controversy constitutes a separate and independent claim or cause of action within the original jurisdiction of the United States District Courts.

 In American Fire & Casualty Co. v. Finn, 1951, 341 U.S. 6, at page 9, 71 S. Ct. 534, at page 538, 95 L. Ed. 702, the Supreme Court construed 28 U.S.C.A. § 1441(c), stating inter alia:

 'One purpose of Congress in adopting the 'separate and independent claim or cause of action' test for removability by § 1441(c) of the 1948 revision in lieu of the provision for removal of 28 U.S.C. (1946 ed.) § 71, was by simplification to avoid the difficulties experienced in determining the meaning of that provision. (See footnote 1 of Finn case, supra.) Another and ...


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