Contempt of Court in Labor Injunction Cases

By Cleon Oliphant Swayzee | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
PROCEDURE AND LEGAL DISPOSITION

Number and Distribution. The first year in which a contempt action grew out of a labor injunction case in New York state, so far as the records have revealed, seems to have been 1904. From 1904 to 1932, inclusive, there have been no fewer than one hundred and one such actions, criminal or civil, in the state courts. There may be, of course, additional cases which have been overlooked, but probably not many since a careful search has been made of all known sources, including the New York State Reports, Abbott's Digest, The New York Daily Law Journal Index and the clerk's records in New York, Kings, Queens, Bronx and Westchester counties, from which were gleaned the majority of the cases herein discussed. Contacts were established with no less than a score of attorneys active in labor cases, with labor union officials, and with employees, both by personal interview and correspondence, and even though these sources were not as fruitful as the others, it is believed that very few cases escaped discovery.

In addition to the one hundred and one main injunction actions to which these contempt cases were collateral, record was found of eight hundred and thirty-eight applications for injunctive relief which were not followed by Contempt proceedings. However, since the injunction cases are distributed over the period from 1875 to 1932 a more accurate impression of the frequency of contempt proceedings may be had by comparing the number of contempt actions with the total injunction actions arising between 1904 and 1932,

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