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PHOENIX GLASS COMPANY v. LOCAL UNION NO. 8381 (11/22/76)

decided: November 22, 1976.

THE PHOENIX GLASS COMPANY
v.
LOCAL UNION NO. 8381, UNITED STEEL WORKERS OF AMERICA, DISTRICT 20, THERESA JEAN DEVINCENTIS, PRESIDENT, ET AL. APPEAL OF DWAYNE COOPER



COUNSEL

Thomas H. M. Hough, Pittsburgh, for appellant.

Nich Francalancia, Beaver, for appellee.

Watkins, President Judge, and Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort and Spaeth, JJ. Hoffman, J., files a dissenting opinion in which Spaeth, J., joins.

Author: Van Der Voort

[ 244 Pa. Super. Page 16]

On April 25, 1975, appellant Dwayne Cooper was adjudged in contempt by the Court of Common Pleas of

[ 244 Pa. Super. Page 17]

Beaver County when he wilfully violated the clear terms of an injunction by preventing a truck from entering a plant. He was ordered to pay costs and a fine of one hundred ($100) dollars and to stand committed to the custody of the sheriff until the fine and costs should be paid. Appellant paid the fine, receipt of which was noted April 25, 1975 by the Prothonotary on the back of the lower court's order. On May 1, 1975, appellant took this appeal to our court. We find that appellant's payment of the fine ended the matter and precludes him from subsequently appealing the judgment of contempt. The appeal is therefore quashed. Reap's Appeal, 88 Pa. Super. 147 (1926).

HOFFMAN, Judge (dissenting):

This appeal presents the question whether a contemnor must be informed of the nature of the proceedings at the beginning of a contempt hearing.

On April 2, 1975, the Phoenix Glass Company filed a civil action in equity seeking to restrain acts of unlawful picketing by District 20 of the United Steelworkers of America, Local Union No. 8381, pursuant to the Act of 1937, P.L. 1198, § 4, 1939, June 9, P.L. 302, § 1, 43 P.S. § 206d. The court held a hearing that same day with all parties present, including the appellant, Dwayne Cooper, who was the union's staff representative. On April 3, 1975, the court issued an order enjoining the defendant union from interfering with ingress and egress of vehicles and persons at entrances to appellee's plant, limiting the number of pickets to six persons spaced not less than 18 feet apart, and enjoining the appellee from interfering with otherwise lawful picketing.

[ 244 Pa. Super. Page 18]

On April 16, 1975, appellant stopped a truck entering appellee's plant. One of appellee's employees attempted to take a picture of appellant while he was standing in front of the truck. As the photographer started to return to the plant, he was accosted by appellant, and a struggle ensued. The camera was destroyed. As a result of this incident, the appellee petitioned the court on April 21, 1975, to order appellant to appear and show cause why he should not be adjudged guilty of contempt for violation of the order of April 2, 1975 (filed April 3, 1975). The court set a hearing for April 25, 1975. At the opening of the hearing, the appellant objected to the proceedings on two grounds. First, he contended that because he was not a named defendant in the initial action and because he was not personally served with the order, he could not be held in contempt. Second, appellant objected to the proceedings, because he was not informed whether he was being tried for civil or criminal contempt. In response to appellant's first objection, the court apparently concluded that service on the union's ...


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