The opinion of the court was delivered by: LUONGO
This is an action brought by the Secretary of Labor under § 402(b) of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (29 U.S.C.A. § 482(b)), hereinafter LMRDA, to set aside an election for Secretary-Treasurer held by defendant, District Council No. 21, on June 24, 1961. Defendant Union, relying on the Seventh Amendment and Rule 38, has demanded a jury trial. Plaintiff has moved to strike this demand.
Subsections 402(b) and (c) (29 U.S.C.A. § 482(b) and (c)) provide:
'(b) The Secretary shall investigate such complaint and, if he finds probable cause to believe that a violation of this title has occurred and has not been remedied, he shall, within sixty days after the filing of such complaint, bring a civil action against the labor organization as an entity in the district court of the United States in which such labor organization maintains its principal officer to set aside the invalid election, if any, and to direct the conduct of an election or hearing and vote upon the removal of officers under the supervision of the Secretary and in accordance with the provisions of this title and such rules and regulations as the Secretary may prescribe. The court shall have power to take such action as it deems proper to preserve the assets of the labor organization.
'(c) If, upon a preponderance of the evidence after a trial upon the merits, the court finds --
'(1) that an election has not been held within the time prescribed by section 401 (29 U.S.C.A. § 481), or
'(2) that the violation of section 401 (29 U.S.C.A. § 481) may have affected the outcome of an election, the court shall declare the election, if any, to be void and direct the conduct of a new election under supervision of the Secretary and, so far as lawful and practicable, in conformity with the constitution and bylaws of the labor organization. The Secretary shall promptly certify to the court the names of the persons elected, and the court shall thereupon enter a decree declaring such persons to be the officers of the labor organization. * * * '
The question before me is whether in judicial proceedings brought under § 402(b) and (c) (29 U.S.C.A. § 482(b) and (c)) the parties are entitled to a jury trial. The answer to that question depends upon whether the parties have a constitutional right under the Seventh Amendment
to a jury trial, or whether the right has been given to them by a federal statute.
The conventional test for determining whether a party has a constitutional right to trial by jury is whether he was entitled to have the issue tried by a jury at common law. 2 Moore's Federal Practice P2:02; Ettelson v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 137 F.2d 62 (3rd Cir. 1943), cert. den. 320 U.S. 777, 64 S. Ct. 92, 88 L. Ed. 467 (1943). This test has been discussed by Professor Moore in the following terms:
'If the plaintiff alleges a claim for and prays damages it is one at law for the purpose of determining the right of jury trial. If the plaintiff alleges a claim for and prays equitable relief it is one in equity and there is no right of jury trial.' 5 Moore's Federal Practice P38:17.
The cases cited by defendant, Byrd v. Blue Ridge Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc., 356 U.S. 525, 78 S. Ct. 893, 2 L. Ed. 2d 953 (1958) and Beacon Theatres, Inc. v. Westover, 359 U.S. 500, 79 S. Ct. 948, 3 L. Ed. 2d 988 (1959), are not helpful to its position. Those cases, as well as the more recent one of Dairy Queen, Inc. v. Wood, 369 U.S. 469, 82 S. Ct. 894, 8 L. Ed. 2d 44 (1962), involved legal issues (e.g. breach of contract, negligence) with claims for money damages, issues traditionally triable to a jury and, therefore, constitutionally guaranteed by the Seventh Amendment. The teaching of the Beacon and Dairy Queen cases is simply that a court may not, in a case where both legal and equitable issues are involved, dispose of the equitable issues in such a manner as to deprive the parties of their right to a trial by jury on the legal issues. In the instant case, the relief sought is purely equitable in nature and involves no legal issues and no claim for money damages. The cases cited by defendant do not, therefore, support its demand for a jury trial on constitutional grounds.
Since defendant is not entitled to a trial by jury under the Seventh Amendment, the question remains whether Congress, has, by statute, granted that right to the defendant. The section in question, § 402 (29 U.S.C.A. § 482) contains no express reference to trial by jury and defendant has not cited any other section or statute which grants it. Where Congress has intended trial by jury under circumstances where the right was not constitutionally guaranteed, it has expressly so provided.
Since Congress referred to 'the court' in at least three separate instances in § 402(b) and (c) (29 U.S.C.A. ...