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U.S. v. Local 560 (I.B.T.)

filed: August 18, 1992; As Corrected September 15, 1992.


On Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. (D.C. Civil No. 82-00689)

Before: Becker, Roth, and Higginbotham, Circuit Judges



A. The Local 560 Litigation

B. Events Leading to Issuance of the Permanent Injunction Against Sciarra

C. Summary



A. What the Government Must Prove to Obtain Modification of the Injunction

B. Sufficiency of the Evidence


A. Were Sciarra and the Genovese Family Members Co-Conspirators?

B. Were the Statements Made During the Course of the Conspiracy?


A. Overview of Organizational Standing

B. Concrete Injury

C. Relationship to Organizational Purpose


A. Introduction

B. Does the Injunction Violate Local 560's Members' Associational Rights?

1. Is There a Compelling Governmental Interest?

2. Is the Injunction Sufficiently Narrowly Tailored?

a. Ban on Officeholding

b. Other Restrictions of the Injunction


A. Section 411(a)(1)

B. Section 411(a)(2)




BECKER, Circuit Judge.

This case arises from the government's ongoing effort to purge Local 560, International Brotherhood of Teamsters ("Local 560," or "the local"), of the influence of organized crime. Through the use of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), 18 USCA §§ 1961 to 1968 (West, 1984 and 1992 Supp), the government has, over the past ten years, succeeded in imposing a trusteeship on the local and in obtaining court orders enjoining corrupt individuals from participating in the affairs of Local 560. This appeal concerns the government's efforts to prevent Michael Sciarra, a former Local 560 president and business agent alleged to have links to organized crime, from participating in the union's affairs.

The government presented evidence to the district court that, despite prior injunctions issued against some of Local 560's members, including Sciarra, Sciarra was undeterred in his efforts to retain a role in Local 560 for the Genovese organized crime family. As a result, the district court issued a detailed permanent injunction which enjoined Sciarra from, among other things, holding any position of trust in the local and from attempting to influence the local's affairs. Both Sciarra and Local 560 appeal from the entry of the injunction against him. Sciarra points out that the government never filed a formal complaint in the district court pursuant to Rule 3 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure ("FRCP") in seeking this latest injunction, and submits that the district court therefore lacked subject matter jurisdiction to issue it. He also argues that there was insufficient evidence to demonstrate that he was frustrating the purposes of the original, less restrictive injunction issued against him, and that the district court was therefore not entitled to issue this more drastic injunction. Finally, he contends that tapes of recorded conversations between Genovese Family members, which were considered by the district court in deciding to issue the injunction, were erroneously admitted as co-conspirator statements under Rule 801(d)(2)(E) of the Federal Rules of Evidence ("FRE").

The government responds that its complaint in this portion of the ongoing Local 560 action was an amendment to the original complaint and that, therefore, no new complaint was necessary to initiate this portion of the litigation. Further, the government points to several pieces of evidence which suggest that Sciarra had corrupt dealings with organized crime after entry of the initial injunction against him and contends that this evidence is sufficient to support the more drastic injunctive relief granted by the district court. Finally, the government submits that the tape-recorded conversations admitted against Sciarra were properly received as co-conspirators' statements under FRE 801(d)(2)(E).

On behalf of its membership, Local 560 objects to the injunction because, it claims, the injunction impermissibly infringes on its members' First Amendment associational rights. The local also urges that the injunction infringes on its members' statutorily protected rights under the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA), 29 USCA §§ 401 to 531 (West, 1985 and 1992 Supp), and that section 1964(a) of RICO does not authorize such an injunction. The government concedes that the injunction will infringe on the associational rights of Local 560's membership under the First Amendment and LMRDA, but argues that the injunction is justified because it is narrowly tailored to further a compelling governmental interest.

For the reasons that follow, we reject the claims of Sciarra and the local and will affirm the judgment of the district court in all respects.


A. The Local 560 Litigation

Although the government here seeks an injunction only against Sciarra, a review of the lengthy government-initiated litigation against Local 560 is necessary to understand the issues in the present appeal.*fn1

In March 1982, the government filed a civil complaint against twelve individuals affiliated with Local 560 who, the government alleged, were involved in facilitating organized crime's control of Local 560. Five of these individuals -- Anthony Provenzano, Nunzio Provenzano, Steven Andretta, Thomas Andretta, and Gabriel Briguglio -- were alleged to be associates of the "Provenzano Group," an organization affiliated with the Genovese organized crime family. The remaining seven defendants -- Salvatore Provenzano, Joseph Sheridan, Josephine Provenzano, J.W. Dildine, Thomas Reynolds, Stanley Jaronko, and Michael Sciarra -- were the members of the Executive Board of Local 560 at the time. The government claimed that this latter group of individuals had aided and abetted the Provenzano group in using Local 560 for corrupt ends.

In its complaint, the government alleged that all twelve individuals had violated 18 USCA § 1962(c)*fn2 by engaging in a pattern of racketeering activity, which included murder, numerous acts of extortion, and labor racketeering. See United States v Local 560 (IBT), 581 F Supp 279, 333-34 (DNJ 1984). The government sought injunctive relief under 18 USCA § 1964(a)*fn3 which would prohibit the five members of the Provenzano Group from having any dealings with Local 560 or its membership. Against the remaining seven individuals, the government sought an injunction barring them from acting in any official capacity on behalf of Local 560. The government further sought to impose a trusteeship on Local 560; the trustee would perform all the functions of the former Executive Board until the environment in the union was appropriate for a free election.

In 1984, after a lengthy trial, the district court granted the relief that the government sought. As a result, the members of the Provenzano Group were prohibited from having any dealings with Local 560. Michael Sciarra and the six other members of the Executive Board were prohibited from acting in an official capacity on behalf of Local 560. Additionally, the court imposed a trusteeship "for such time as is necessary to foster the conditions under which reasonably free supervised elections can be held, presumptively for eighteen months." See Local 560, 581 F Supp at 337.

The imposition of the trusteeship was stayed until all appeals had been resolved. We affirmed the issuance of that injunction. See Local 560, 780 F.2d at 267. On June 23, 1986, the trusteeship was put in place. Thus, more than two years passed between the district court's order calling for a trusteeship and the actual creation of the trusteeship. During that time, Michael Sciarra succeeded Salvatore Provenzano as the president of Local 560. As we will see, Sciarra's actions during the two years that he was president of the local are relevant to the determination whether he should now be enjoined from participating in all the affairs of Local 560.

Several orders sought by the government during the ongoing trusteeship of Local 560 generated controversies that required the district court's and our consideration and are relevant to the present appeal. Among these was an order to show cause issued by the district court in 1988 against Sciarra and Joseph Sheridan, another of the allegedly corrupt officials of Local 560. The order required Sciarra and Sheridan to show cause why they should not be compelled to submit to oral depositions concerning their stewardship during the two-year period in which Sciarra served as president while the appeal was pending. The district Judge issued the order at the government's request and over the objection of Sciarra and Sheridan.*fn4 On appeal, we affirmed the order to show cause because Sciarra and Sheridan had not demonstrated Article III injury. See Sciarra, 851 F.2d 621.

During the period of trusteeship, the trustee, Edwin Stier, attempted to create an environment in Local 560 in which uninhibited union democracy could flourish. His efforts were vigorously opposed by a group known as Teamsters for Liberty, which severely criticized the trusteeship. Among the Teamsters for Liberty's adherents were Sciarra, Sheridan, and other individuals who had formerly been found to be under the influence of the Provenzano Group. Despite the emergence of these anti-trusteeship forces, Trustee Stier concluded in 1988 that Local 560 was sufficiently purged of corruption and intimidation to permit free elections. Pursuant to an order obtained from the district court, Stier scheduled an election for officers of the Executive Board, to be held in November 1988.

The Teamsters for Liberty proposed to run Sciarra and Sheridan for Local 560 President and Vice President, respectively, in the November 1988 election. The government, concerned that Sciarra and Sheridan would return control of the local to the Provenzano Group and the Genovese Family, sought an injunction against the candidacies of both men. It did so by filing an "Application for Additional Relief" with the district court. In the Application, the government asserted that Sciarra had remained under the influence of the Genovese Family during the period in which he served as president of Local 560. The Application further alleged that the Genovese Family had designs on Local 560 and that Sciarra was crucial in their plan to reassert control.

The district court treated the government's Application as a motion to amend or supplement the complaint pursuant to Rule 15(a) of the FRCP. After conducting a hearing in September 1988, the court agreed with the government that Local 560 might again become corrupt if a Sciarra/Sheridan ticket were to be victorious; the court therefore temporarily enjoined Sciarra and Sheridan from running in the upcoming election. See Local 560, 694 F Supp at 1158. We affirmed the issuance of that temporary injunction by judgment order. See Local 560 (IBT), 865 F.2d 253. Undaunted, the Teamsters for Liberty nominated Daniel Sciarra, Michael Sciarra's brother, to run for President of Local 560 and Mark Sheridan, Joseph Sheridan's nephew, to run for Vice President. The election was held on December 6, 1988. In balloting that was apparently fair, the Teamsters for Liberty candidates won. Upon assuming office in January 1989, the new Executive Board almost immediately appointed Michael Sciarra and Joseph Sheridan business agents of the local. The government obtained an order that required both Joseph Sheridan and Michael Sciarra to show cause why they should not be prohibited from holding office in Local 560. The district court initially concluded that there was insufficient evidence to enjoin Sciarra and Sheridan from holding the office of business agent, and both men began serving in that capacity.

A little more than a year later, in early 1990, the government entered into an agreement with Joseph Sheridan whereby Sheridan consented to resign as a business agent of Local 560 and to cease attempting to influence its affairs. The government apparently sought the agreement because it believed that Sheridan was still involved in corrupt activities. In February 1990, the government moved, on the basis of new evidence, to bar Michael Sciarra from holding any position of trust in the union. The district court, after holding a hearing, granted a preliminary injunction prohibiting Sciarra from "continuing as a Local 560 business agent, from holding any other position within Local 560 and from seeking to exert influence or control over the affairs of Local 560 or any of its benefit plans." See United States v Local 560 (IBT), 736 F Supp 601, 613 (DNJ 1990).

Shortly thereafter, the court began proceedings to determine whether a permanent injunction should issue. After a trial, at which both sides offered evidence, the district court concluded that any exercise of influence by Sciarra would be dangerous to the corruption-free environment of Local 560. Based on section 1964(a) of RICO, the court therefore enjoined Sciarra as follows:

Michael Sciarra . . . is hereby permanently enjoined and prohibited from doing any of the following, to wit:

1. From serving in or otherwise holding any position of trust or employment within and from rendering any form of service (whether or not for remuneration) to Local 560 (IBT) or any of its benefit plans;

2. From attending and otherwise participating in any membership meeting, function or rally -- including any public or private demonstration of support for any strike action -- sponsored by or otherwise involving Local 560 (IBT), provided, however, that he shall not be precluded from casting a ballot in any election or on any questions if that can be done without attending a meeting of the membership;

3. From attending and otherwise participating in any political rally, fund-raiser or other function of whatever kind or description relating to the political affairs of Local 560 (IBT);

4. From otherwise endeavoring, directly or indirectly, to influence the affairs of Local 560 or any of its benefit plans; and

5. From frequenting the union hall at 707 Summit Avenue, Union City, New Jersey except to the minimum extent necessary to discharge, without any unreasonable delay, a matter of personal union membership-related business, providing that any such matter cannot reasonably be discharged by means of telephone or correspondence.

Both Sciarra and Local 560 have appealed from the entry of this permanent injunction. We have appellate jurisdiction under 28 USCA § 1291 (West, 1966 and 1992 Supp).

B. Events Leading to Issuance of the Permanent Injunction Against Sciarra

The facts justifying entry of the original injunction against Sciarra in 1984, which prohibited him from representing Local 560 in an official capacity, are detailed in the district court's original opinion. See Local 560, 581 F Supp at 302-03, 325. It suffices to say for present purposes that Sciarra was involved in creating a corrupt environment in Local 560 before 1982. His own testimony at the first proceeding that he would welcome members of the Provenzano Group back into Local 560 even though they had ordered the murders of those who opposed their interests and had corrupted Local 560, see id, was sufficient to justify entering the initial injunction against him under 18 USCA1964(a).

In this appeal, however, we are concerned primarily with Sciarra's conduct after the district court entered the initial injunction. To expand the scope of the injunctive relief against Sciarra, the government must show that events subsequent to that injunction justify additional relief.*fn5 In the present phase, the district court found that, despite the first injunction, Sciarra was undeterred in his willingness to open Local 560 to the corrupting influence of the Genovese Family and the Provenzano Group. This Conclusion was based on evidence adduced at various proceedings before the district court which suggested that Sciarra is under the influence of the Genovese Family and that he, in turn, can control the local with minimal contact, and thereby return Local 560 to Genovese Family control. More specifically, the district court held that several pieces of evidence, which we now detail, demonstrated an ongoing violation of 18 USCA § 1964 that justifies prohibiting Sciarra from attempting to influence the local in any way.

1. Intercepted Wire Conversations

First, the district court relied on a series of tape-recorded conversations between various individuals affiliated with the Provenzano Group and the Genovese Family. The government claims that the conversations, which primarily concerned the Provenzano Group's efforts to retain control over Local 560 after entry of the district court's injunction, demonstrate the continued involvement of Sciarra in organized crime.

The tapes recorded the following conversations: 1) a conversation between Matthew Ianiello, a so-called "captain" in the Genovese Family, and Stanley Jaronko, a member of the Executive Board of Local 560, concerning how the Genovese Family would retain control over the local after the district court's initial decision imposing the trusteeship; 2) two conversations between Ianiello and Stephen Andretta, also concerning how the Genovese Family could retain control over Local 560; and 3) a conversation among Anthony Salerno, the then-boss of the Genovese Family, Louis Gatto, a captain in the Family, and two other individuals concerning how the Genovese Family could retain control over Local 560. During all four of these conversations, the participants discussed controlling the local through "Michael," "Mike," "Mikey," or "Mikey Sciarra."

The district court agreed with the government that the tapes demonstrated that the Genovese Family was attempting to maintain control over Local 560 by controlling Michael Sciarra:

The tapes constitute strong evidence that the Genovese Crime Family intended to maintain its control over Local 560 during the pendency of the appeal from Judge Ackerman's March 16, 1984 Judgment Order, during any period of trusteeship, and thereafter. The tapes constitute strong evidence that this control was to be exercised through Anthony Salerno's caporegime Matthew Ianiello and that Ianiello, upon the advice of Stephen Andretta, selected Michael Sciarra to be the man on the scene at Local 560 to whom orders and instructions could be given.

Local 560, 694 F Supp at 1178.

2. The New England Motor Freight "Sweetheart" Deal

The government also presented evidence in the district court that there was a "sweetheart" relationship between Local 560 and a trucking company, New England Motor Freight (NEMF), from 1975 through mid-1986, and that Sciarra facilitated the relationship during its latter stages. NEMF was party to a collective bargaining agreement with a bargaining unit affiliated with Local 560. Moreover, until 1977, NEMF was party to the Teamsters National Master Freight Agreement (NMFA), the industry-wide agreement governing the trucking industry. The government presented evidence that during the 1970s, Myron Shevell, NEMF's president, cultivated a corrupt relationship with various officials inside Local 560, including Anthony Provenzano and Stephen Andretta. The leadership of Local 560 agreed with Shevell in the late 1970's to allow NEMF to deviate from the NMFA in its employment practices. This allowed NEMF to expand its non-unionized workforce and gradually to decrease the size of the Local 560 collective bargaining unit that was working at NEMF. Although the record is not entirely clear on this point, the leadership of Local 560 apparently received some benefit in return.*fn6

Evidence presented in the district court suggested that the corrupt arrangement between Local 560 and NEMF continued beyond the entry of the initial injunction in 1984. Three pieces of evidence link the corrupt post-injunction dealings between NEMF and Local 560 during this period to Sciarra.

First, in 1983, Salvatore ("Sammy") Provenzano, then the president of Local 560, became disenchanted with the local's arrangement with NEMF and directed that a grievance be filed against NEMF alleging unfair labor practices. The grievance asserted that all NEMF warehousemen and drivers were covered by the NMFA and that NEMF, in deviating from the terms of the NMFA, had engaged in an unfair labor practice. But not everyone in the Provenzano Group and the Genovese Family was pleased by the souring of relations between Local 560 and NEMF. The recorded conversations between Ianiello and Andretta reveal that they wanted to undo Provenzano's effort to punish NEMF through the grievance procedure. Ianiello suggested a way to do so during their December 7, 1984 conversation:

Ianiello: Michael's business. Let's let Michael try to square it (unintelligible).

Andretta: Sammy Provenzano, but Sammy got shoved out of the office. He's gotta step down, he kept pushing the guy. Instead of ...

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