United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
ARTHUR J. CLEMENS, Jr., Plaintiff,
LOCAL ONE, SERVICE EMPLOYEES INT'L UNION, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
L. WHITE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
case is before the Court on a motion filed by the pro se
plaintiff, Arthur J. demons, to declare a portion of 29
U.S.C. § 481(c)  unconstitutional and on his motion to compel.
motion to declare § 481(c) unconstitutional, Plaintiff
argues that Congress enacted the provision at issue on the
assumption that local unions were indeed local. Local One,
however, is regional, operates in six states, and has its
principal office in Chicago. These circumstances require a
potential candidate for union office to travel to Chicago and
to there attempt to inspect a list of at least 47, 000
members. Consequently, Plaintiff and others are effectively
prevented from running for office.
styled as a motion to declare § 481(c) unconstitutional,
the pleading presents two causes of action and is more
properly construed as a proposed amendment to the pending
ten-count complaint. Pro se parties are expected to follow
the civil rules of procedure, court orders, and local rules.
In re Leiferman, 428 B.R. 850, 854 (B.A.P.
8th Cir. 2010); Johns v. City of Florissant
Police Dep't, 2018 WL 867944, *3 (E.D. Mo. Feb. 14,
2018); Viehweg v. Mello, 5 F.Supp.2d 752, 761 (E.D.
Mo. 1998). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a) establishes
the procedure to be followed when, as in the instant case, a
plaintiff wishes to amend his complaint after an answer has
been filed. If Plaintiff wishes to amend his complaint to add
counts challenging the constitutionality of § 481(c),
the proper motion to amend must be filed.
issue in the motion to compel are six of the nineteen
requests for production of documents.
first of the six requests is for "[c]opies of all
documents which support entries made in the OLMS LM-2 reports
regarding Local One, SEIU for 2015 and 2016, pursuant to 29
U.S.C § 431(c)."  Defendants object to this request on
the grounds that § 431(c) already provides Plaintiff
with access to the information. The Court agrees.
second request is for "[a] 11 documents on file which
describe Local One members who have had their dues raised in
the last two years and how much their dues have been
raised." Defendants have agreed to provide Plaintiff
documents showing the rates of dues and the number of members
subject to those rates; Defendants object to providing
Plaintiff with any further description, including the
members' names. Plaintiff suggests in his motion that
Defendants' reluctance may be attributed to their desire
not to identify members of a potential class. The issue of
class certification is not yet before the Court. Moreover,
Plaintiffs concern about a possible arbitrary assessment of
various dues rates for different members is hypothetical at
third request is for "[a]ll documents which describe the
disbursement of funds to pension trust funds in 2015 and
2016." Rule 26(b)(1) provides that "[p]arties may
obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is
relevant to any party's claim or defense and proportional
to the needs of the case ...." "Broad discovery is
an important tool for the litigant, " Chavis Van
& Storage of Myrtle Beach, Inc. v. United Van Lines,
LLC, 784 F.3d 1183, 1198 (8th Cir. 2015);
however, "this ... legal tenet should not be misapplied
so as to allow fishing expeditions in discovery, "
Heller v. HRB Tax Group, Inc., 287 F.R.D. 483, 485
(E.D. Mo. 2012). In his ten-count complaint, Plaintiff
challenges the votes for dues increases, election procedures,
and the use of dues for campaign costs. In the motion
discussed above, he challenges the statute governing access
to information on union members. What is not challenged is
any issue relating to the pension funds.
fourth request is for a copy of a legal opinion about matters
raised in Plaintiffs complaint; the fifth is for the bills
for such opinion. Rule 26(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure permits discovery only of "nonprivileged
matter." An attorney-client privilege "extends ...
to confidential communications made for the purpose of
facilitating the rendition of legal services to the
client." Wollesen v. West Central Coop., 2018
WL 785863, M(N.D. la. Feb. 8, 2018) (interim quotations
sixth, and last, request in dispute is one asking for
financial information on fifteen various union trust funds,
including some funds for unions other than Local One. The
funds named are not parties, see Fed.RXiv.P. 34(a)
(restricting requests for production of documents to
parties), and, regardless, the finances of such funds are not
foregoing reasons, the Court finds Defendants' objections
to the six requests to be with merit. Plaintiffs motion to
compel will be denied.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the motions of Plaintiff to declare
29 U.S.C. § 481(c) unconstitutional [ECF No. 23] and to
compel [ECF No. 31] are each DENIED.