The opinion of the court was delivered by: BECKER
This opinion addresses an application by the defendant International Brotherhood of Teamsters ("IBT") for an allowance of counsel fees and expenses in connection with the investigation and prosecution of its motion and amended motion to hold William Bender, plaintiff in the underlying action, in contempt of our November 8, 1978, order effectuating the IBT-ordered merger of Teamsters Local 1, a plaintiff in the case, with defendant Teamsters Local 107.
The relevant background of the case, which arises out of an unsuccessful suit by Local 1 and several of its officers, including Bender, to enjoin an IBT order that Local 1 merge with Local 107, is described in previous opinions and will not be repeated here. See Local 1 (ACA), et al. v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters, et al., 419 F. Supp. 263 (E.D. Pa. 1976) (denying preliminary injunction against merger); Local No. 1 (ACA), et al. v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters, et al., 461 F. Supp. 961 (E.D. Pa. 1978) (upholding merger and awarding Bender compensation for services to Local 1 before the merger), aff'd in part and vacated in part, 614 F.2d 846 (3d Cir. 1980);
Local No. 1 (ACA), et al. v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters, et al., 543 F. Supp. 1321 (E.D. Pa. 1982) (opinion filed on remand) (finding that diversity jurisdiction was not present in the action so as to preserve Bender's favorable judgment on the salary claim but that diversity jurisdiction was present in Civil Action No. 80-0534 filed to re-assert the salary claim);
Local No. 1 (ACA), et al. v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters, et al., No. 75-2684 (E.D. Pa., filed Oct. 5, 1982) (Memorandum Opinion), (granting in part and denying in part motion of IBT, joined in by Local 107, to hold Bender in contempt for failure to comply with November 8, 1978, merger order), aff'd by judgment order, 716 F.2d 891 (3d Cir. 1983).
The IBT has sought counsel fees in the amount of $31,197.85, including expenses. For the reasons that follow, we award fees in the sum of $3,548.88, plus expenses of $297.44.
The merger order provided in pertinent part that:
4. Local 1 is ordered to turn over all books, documents, property and funds presently under its control to the General President or General Secretary-Treasurer of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters or to the officers of defendant Local 107.
In December 1980, IBT moved for contempt, the merger allegedly not having been consummated because Bender had refused to deliver to IBT certain documents allegedly in his custody and had failed to inform Local 107 of the existence of a bank account with the Bowery Savings Bank of New York which purportedly contained Local 1 funds. When the documents at issue were delivered by Bender to Local 107 after the contempt motion was filed, the IBT amended its motion to seek contempt for Bender's delay in complying with our order. Local 107 joined in the amended motion
which asserted as an additional ground for contempt that Bender had disbursed $2,968.62 in Local 1 funds after our November 1978 order and before the Court of Appeals decision. Bender countered that he was not in contempt because his conduct had been in good faith.
We resolved the motion in our October 5, 1982, opinion as follows:
1. We held that the bank account dispute, which had been resolved as the result of a telephone call during the course of a hearing on the matter, was moot.
2. We found that Bender's delay in turning over Local 1 records was a product of honest disagreements among the parties as to the location and custody of the documents and held that his conduct in this regard was not contemptuous.
3. We held that, in view of the clear terms of our November 1978 order, Bender had no right to dissipate funds, notwithstanding his intention to benefit the members of Local 1 through these expenditures. We therefore granted the defendants' motion on this ground alone and entered an order for the repayment of the $2,968.62, which was disbursed in ...