No. 3194 Philadelphia, 1981, Appeal from Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Montgomery County, No. 81-13482.
Stephen F. Ritner, Philadelphia, for appellants.
Ann Miller and Paul R. Rosen, Philadelphia, for Louise Grubb, appellee.
Charles C. Shainberg, Philadelphia, for Gordon Grubb, appellee.
Rowley, Wieand and Cirillo, JJ.
[ 326 Pa. Super. Page 220]
This is an appeal from an order holding a labor union in contempt of court because its custodian of records failed to produce all records requested by a subpoena duces tecum issued in a divorce action commenced against the union's managing officer, Gordon Grubb. For the reasons hereinafter set forth, we reverse.
During the pendency of a divorce action against Gordon Grubb, Mrs. Grubb filed a petition under Pa.R.C.P. 1920.13 for alimony pendente lite and counsel fees. Grubb was an active member and managing officer of Brewery and Beer Distributors, Drivers, Helpers and Platform Men, Local Union 830 (the Union). Mrs. Grubb's attorney caused a subpoena duces tecum to be issued to the Union's "custodian of records" directing him to appear for hearing and to bring with him records showing Gordon Grubb's wage and salary history, the fringe benefits to which he was entitled, and information regarding the value of his interest in a job-related pension plan. A motion for protective order was filed and denied, and the Union was ordered to deliver the requested records to Mrs. Grubb's attorney. Salary records
[ 326 Pa. Super. Page 221]
were thereafter obtained and furnished to plaintiff's counsel. However, counsel for the Union failed to obtain the information regarding Grubb's interest in the pension plan. Instead, he reported that the pension fund was a separate entity, housed in a different building, and managed and controlled by trustees appointed by the Union and the employers of union members. The pension information requested and the pension records, counsel stated, were not available to the Union's custodian of the records. He suggested that these items could be obtained from the administrator of the pension fund. Counsel for Mrs. Grubb thereupon cited the Union for contempt, and a hearing on the citation was set. Prior to this hearing, Mrs. Grubb also caused a subpoena to be served upon Morris Goldman, a Union affiliated trustee of the pension fund. He provided most of the requested pension information to Mrs. Grubb's counsel. However, at the time of the hearing, certain actuarial data remained unsupplied.*fn1 This information required computations by the pension fund's privately retained actuary, and these calculations had not been completed prior to the hearing.
At the hearing, no testimony was taken. After listening to arguments of counsel in chambers, the court entered an order holding the Union in contempt. The order imposed an unconditional fine of $2,000.00, awarded counsel fees to Mrs. Grubb's attorney of $1,500.00, and directed that a fine of $200.00 per day be paid by the Union if the remaining pension information were not furnished within a week of the court's order. The daily fine of $200.00 was never assessed, for the desired information was furnished by the actuary for the pension fund. The Union appealed the order holding it in contempt. Thereafter, the marital action between Louise and Gordon Grubb was settled amicably; and the counsel fees awarded by the court against the Union were waived. The only portion of the court's order
[ 326 Pa. Super. Page 222]
not moot, therefore, is the unconditional fine of $2,000.00 which the court ...