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INTERNATIONAL BHD. OF BOILERMAKERS v. SZOKE

May 18, 1989

INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF BOILERMAKERS, IRON SHIP BUILDERS BLACKSMITHS, FORGERS AND HELPERS AFL-CIO, et al.
v.
ALEXANDER J. SZOKE, et al.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: REED

 REED, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

 This action arises out of a property dispute between two unions over the ownership of a tract of land located in Northhampton County, Pennsylvania. *fn1" Before the court is the motion of the plaintiffs for summary judgment. *fn2" Because I find that no genuine issues of material fact exist and that plaintiffs are entitled to judgment as a matter of law, I will grant plaintiffs' motion and enter summary judgment in their favor.

 Factual Background3

 In July, 1983, the United Cement, Lime, Gypsum and Allied Workers International Union (Cement Union), an unincorporated association and labor organization, *fn4" purchased a tract of land in Allen Township, Northhampton County, Pennsylvania. The Cement Union erected a building on the Northhampton land to serve as its headquarters for District Council #1. *fn5" Three trustees, defendants Alexander Szoke, William Martin and John Boisitz, Jr., held title to the property for the benefit of the Cement Union, an unincorporated association.

 On April 1, 1984, the Cement Union entered into a merger agreement with International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Forgers and Helpers, AFL-CIO (Boilermakers). As a result of the merger, those local unions which had formerly been affiliated with the Cement Union were placed by the Boilermakers into an organizational structure known as the Cement Division of the Boilermakers and, thereafter, all of the former Cement Union members became members of the Boilermakers. The district councils of the Cement Union ceased to exist, and, pursuant to the merger agreement, Cement became subsumed within the Boilermakers and lost its existence as a separate legal entity. Although, in accordance with the merger agreement, the Northhampton real property as well as all of the personal property, books, records, intangibles and other assets contained therein belonging to District Council No. 1 became the property of the Boilermakers, a deed to the Northhampton property was never actually executed in favor of the Boilermakers.

 On or about December 26, 1986, defendants Szoke and Martin, after a decision to change their affiliation from Boilermakers to IWNA, and without Boilermakers' knowledge, executed a deed transferring title to the Northhampton property from themselves as trustees for District Council No. 1, United Cement, Lime, Gypsum and Allied Workers International Union to themselves as "Trustees for Independent Workers of North America, an unincorporated association," without consideration. IWNA thereafter recorded the deed in Northhampton County, Pennsylvania. On March 16, 1987, representatives of Boilermakers were locked out of and denied access to the premises and records contained therein by defendants.

 Plaintiffs, Boilermakers and various members of its Board of Trustees, filed suit seeking preliminary and permanent injunctive relief. On May 14, 1987, after a hearing to consider plaintiffs' request for a preliminary injunction, the court issued a preliminary injunction compelling the defendants to return the property and records of the Boilermakers. See International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers, AFL-CIO v. Alexander Szoke, 1987 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14208, No. 87-2147, slip op. (E.D. Pa. May 29, 1987) (LEXIS, Genfed library, Dist file). *fn6"

 II

 Discussion

 Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, summary judgment may be granted when "there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). For a dispute to be "genuine," the evidence must be such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the non-moving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202, 106 S. Ct. 2505 (1986). To establish a genuine issue of material fact, the non-moving party must introduce evidence beyond the mere pleadings to create an issue of material fact on "an element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial." Celotex v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322, 91 L. Ed. 2d 265, 106 S. Ct. 2548 (1986). The evidence presented must be considered in a light most favorable to the non-moving party, Baker v. Lukens Steel Co., 793 F.2d 509, 511 (3d Cir. 1986), and that party must receive the benefit of all reasonable inferences arising from that evidence. Gans v. Mundy, 762 F.2d 338, 341 (3d Cir.), cert. denied, 474 U.S. 1010, 88 L. Ed. 2d 467, 106 S. Ct. 537 (1985).

 This case essentially involves a contract dispute between two labor organizations. The two contracts which together form the basis of the dispute are the merger agreement between the Boilermakers and the Cement Union *fn7" and the Boilermakers' constitution. *fn8" Article XXXIII, Section 3 of the merger agreement provides, in pertinent part:

 
Transfer and Title of Assets. On the effective date of the merger all property, real, personal, and mixed; and all rights, titles and interest; either legal or equitable; and any monies, funds, or property; tangible or intangible, of [Cement] and affiliated District Councils shall, by virtue of the merger, be ...

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