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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
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I have prepared a 5 page Complaint that I plan to file in Federal

Customer Question

I have prepared a 5 page Complaint that I plan to file in Federal District Court. To summarize, I am suing my union, pro se, in order to gain access to certain financial documents that I have a right to access because of my rights under the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act. I just want someone to proof read and make minor changes as necessary so that it "sounds right." Thanks! The body of my Complaint is as follows (the last 6 paragraphs are missing due to lack of space):

 

1. Defendant is United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 400 (hereinafter called “Local 400”).

2. Local 400 is headquartered in Landover, Maryland.

3. Local 400 is a subordinate body of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union International (hereinafter called “UFCW International”).

4. Plaintiff is Daniel Murray, a resident of Germantown, Maryland.

5. Plaintiff is a Local 400 member in good standing.

6. This court has jurisdiction pursuant to 29 U.S.C. Sec. 431(c).

7. Venue is appropriate because Defendant is headquartered in this district.

8. In late 2012, Local 400 held an election for officers.

9. Three candidates ran for the position of President, including Chris Sauter, XXXXX XXXXX, and Tom McNutt, the incumbent.

10. Each candidate for President, besides Chris Sauter, ran along with a “slate” of candidates running to be Local 400 officers.

11. Shortly after the election, XXXXX XXXXX complained to Local 400's Election Committee about alleged misconduct that took place during Local 400's 2012 election.

12. Local 400's Election Committee dismissed Ramirez's complaint and upheld the results of the election.

13. XXXXX XXXXX then complained to UFCW International, which carried out an investigation into the allegations.

14. Joseph Hansen, the President of UFCW International, sent a letter dated February 6, 2013 to XXXXX XXXXX and other candidates in Local 400's 2012 election that states:

The investigation revealed union resources were used to support the candidacy of members on the incumbent slate in violation of Article 35(C)17 of the UFCW International Constitution and Local 400's bylaws. Specifically, allegations related to improper campaign literature sent by the local union to thousands of members and on-the-clock campaigning by members and supporters of the Tom McNutt Slate were found to have merit. Moreover, the investigation found the use of union resources during the nominations and election period may have impacted the results of the election...I am setting aside the results of the election for all positions and directing that a new election be conducted.”

15. The results of UFCW International’s investigation suggest that at least some Local 400 Officers and/or employees may have breached their fiduciary duties by not using Local 400 resources solely for the benefit of the organization and by possibly acting as or on behalf of adverse parties.

16. At the very least, the results of UFCW International’s investigation inspire reasonable questions about the way that UFCW Local 400's resources were managed in general and especially during the 2012 election.

17. Tom McNutt resigned as President of Local 400 in November of 2012, shortly after winning his bid for election.

18. For both 2012 and 2011, the amount paid to Chesapeake Investigative Services is the same, $7950. However, the purpose given in the 2011 Annual Report is “Local 400 Building Security,” while the purpose in the 2012 Annual Report is “Technical Security Consulting.” It is unusual that the amount paid to this company is exactly the same each year, while the stated purpose for each disbursement seems to be quite different.

19. Disbursements made in 2012 which are classified as “consulting” or “consultant” and for which no further information is given regarding the purpose of the disbursement were disproportionally high in 2012 compared with past years. They total $53,504 in 2012, $10,815 in 2011, $13,774 in 2010, and none are reported for 2005 through 2009.

20. Local 400 spent $10,000 on “parking” in 2012 and reported no such disbursements for 2005 through 2011.

21. In 2011, UFCW Local 400 spent over $5,000 at Corridor Wine and Spirits, while no similar disbursements were reported for any other year going back to at least 2005.

22. Local 400's website states that McNutt resigned on November 30, 2012, while its 2012 Annual Report states that he resigned on November 26, 2012.

23. In response to item twelve, Local 400's 2012 Annual Report states, “An audit of the union's financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2011 was performed by Bond Beebe, a professional Corporation.” This is inconsistent with past annual reports which have generally stated that an independent audit was completed for the reporting period. For example, the 2011 Annual Report gives the exact same response for item twelve as the 2012 Annual Report (that an audit was performed for the year ended December 31, 2011), and the 2010 Annual Report states that an independent audit was done for 2010.

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
Hello,

You can upload the file to www.mediafire.com and provide a link in your next reply.

I'll be happy to give the pleading a look-see.

Thanks in advance.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you so much. The link is: http://www.mediafire.com/?a1vjylnlov2ob2a


 


 

Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
Okay, I'm back.

The term "against" in the caption is unnecessary.
"Complaint and Jury Demand" seems a bit odd to me. I would use, "Complaint" followed by "Jury Trial Demanded"
The Union's address doesn't need to be in the Defendant's party name.
Paragraph 27 requests copies of records detailed in "paragraphs X". Probably a typo. Regardless, I would probably write:

27. That defendant be ordered to permit plaintiff access as may be reasonably necessary to examine any books, records, and accounts necessary to verify any and all of defendant's reports actually or required to be filed with the U.S. Department Labor, pursuant to 29 U.S.C. 431.

In Paragraph 29, you request to be compensated for your time, is a request for attorney's fees. You won't get that -- no way, no how. So...

29. Order defendant to pay plaintiffs costs, and such other relief as the interests of justice require.

Hope this helps.
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 34829
Experience: Retired (mostly)
socrateaser and 15 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks. If ur not sure it is fine, but I'm curious if you know something: As best as I can tell, this action can be filed in a state court (the LMRDA mentions a "state court of competent jurisdiction") or Federal Court (its a Federal law). It is cheaper to file in state court, but it seems like the Defendant can get it moved to Federal District Court. If this is so, any idea if you think I would have to pay any fees for it being moved to Federal Court?

Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
If you have a choice between state and federal court, go to federal court. Everything is better -- the judges are smarter, they have clerks, who know the law, the courthouses are cleaner, the jury pool better -- the rules of evidence are more concise.

Federal court is a little more costly, but it's worth the cost. The filing fee is $400.

Hope this helps.

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