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United Transportation Union v. Illinios Central Railroad Co.

October 30, 1970

UNITED TRANSPORTATION UNION, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
ILLINIOS CENTRAL RAILROAD COMPANY, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE



Knoch, Senior Circuit Judge, and Kiley and Kerner, Circuit Judges.

Author: Kerner

KERNER, C. J.

Plaintiff-appellant, United Transportation Union (Union), appeals from an order of the district court remanding its dispute with defendant-appellee, Illinios Central Railroad Company (Railroad), to the National Railroad Adjustment Board (Board) for further consideration. We dismiss plaintiff's appeal for want of appellate jurisdiction.

After an investigation, Employee J.W. Stuard had been discharged by the Railroad for violating Company Rule G which forbids the use of intoxicants while on duty. The dispute was then submitted to the Board which concluded that

The evidence used to support the position of the carrier is almost totally hearsay and hence inadmissible. We believe that the claimant was denied a fair and impartial investigation for all of the foregoing reasons and we will accordingly set aside the dismissal complained of herein.

The Board allowed the Union's claim on behalf of Stuard for "reinstatement with seniority rights unimpaired and pay for all time lost."

The Railroad refused to comply with the award and order of the Board and, consequently, the Union instituted an enforcement suit in the district court under Section 3, First (q) of the Railway Labor Act, 45 U.S.C. § 153(q), 1970 Supp., which provides that a district court "shall have jurisdiction to affirm the order of the division or set it aside, in whole or in part, or it may remand the proceeding to the division Board for such further action as it may direct." The Union moved for a partial summary judgment requiring the Railroad to comply with the order of the Board reinstating Stuard.*fn1 The Railroad filed a cross-motion for summary dismissal of plaintiff's enforcement complaint, contending that the Board's order was null and void, since reliance upon hearsay evidence pursuant to a dismissal investigation is entirely proper.

The district court denied both motions for summary judgment and remanded the matter to the Board for further consideration because it believed that the Board should have allowed the hearsay evidence in the dismissal hearing. The court's remand order directed the Board "to specifically consider all the evidence presented in its entirety in keeping with the established procedures." From this remand order the Union appeals.

Section 3, First(q) allows appeal from a district court determination " . . . as provided in sections 1291 and 1254 of Title 28." Section 1254 pertains to Supreme Court review of appellate decisions and is not relevant here. Section 1291, dealing with our jurisdiction to review district court decisions, provides in pertinent part:

The courts of appeals shall have jurisdiction from all final decisions of the district courts of the United States . . . .

28 U.S.C. § 1291

Consequently, before we can review and determine the merits of the controversy, we must decide whether the court's remand order to the Board for further consideration was a "final decision," which invokes our appellate jurisdiction. We hold that the court's remand order was not a "final decision" and, therefore, dismiss the appeal for want of jurisdiction.

The Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in Transportation-Com. Div. v. St. Louis-San Francisco Ry. Co., 419 F.2d 933, 935 (8th Cir. 1969), cert. denied, 400 U.S. 818, 27 L. Ed. 2d 45, 91 S. Ct. 34 (1970), recently faced with the identical question of the finality of a district court remand order to the National Railway Adjustment Board, stated:

A remand order for further proceedings is not a final decision contemplated by § 1291. Bohms v. Gardner supra ; Marshall v. Celebrezze, 3 Cir., 351 F.2d 467; Mayersky v. Celebrezze, 3 Cir., 353 F.2d 89; ...


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