Contempt of Court in Labor Injunction Cases

By Cleon Oliphant Swayzee | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III
PROCEDURE AND LEGAL DISPOSITION (Continued)

When Contempt Actions are Started. It is not without interest to note the stage in the actions for injunctions at which contempt proceedings are instituted. It would seem, and it has been so charged by many attorneys for labor unions, that whenever possible the attorneys for the plaintiff bring contempt actions after alleged violation of the ex parte order and before the hearing on the temporary injunction in order that the alleged violation may be used as evidence at the hearing, thus making the chance of success in securing the temporary order somewhat greater. However, examination of the sixty-five New York labor-contempt cases the records of which contained information on the point revealed no such tendency. In only twenty-one cases were the contempt proceedings instituted after the issuance of an ex parte order but before the hearing on the temporary injunction. In forty-four cases the injunction proceedings had progressed at least as far as preliminary hearing before the contempt actions were brought. In seventeen of the twenty-one cases in which the contempt actions were brought before the hearing, temporary injunctions were issued1--a much higher percentage of ex parte continuance than is found in New York labor injunction cases generally, but whether or not these figures are significant is conjectural. In all probability the evidence of contempt was of some

____________________
1

In nine of the seventeen pre-hearing contempt actions the defendants were found guilty.

-64-

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