Labor Board v. Deena Artware, Inc.
361 U.S. 398 (1960)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Labor Board v. Deena Artware, Inc., 361 U.S. 398 (1960)

National Labor Relations Board v. Deena Artware, Inc.

No. 46

Argued December 8, 1959

Decided February 23, 1960

361 U.S. 398

Syllabus

The National Labor Relations Board petitioned the Court of Appeals to adjudge respondents in civil contempt for refusing to pay certain amounts of backpay due to various employees as a result of their discriminatory discharge by respondent, Deena Artware, which is one of several subsidiaries wholly owned, except for qualifying shares, by a parent corporation which, in turn, is wholly owned, except for qualifying shares, by an individual who serves as president and treasurer. He and his wife, son, and secretary, constitute all of the officers and directors of the parent corporation and each of the subsidiaries. The Board alleged that, (1) between the date of entry of a decree of the Court of Appeals enforcing the Board's original backpay order and the Court's entry of a supplemental decree approving the Board's determination of the specific amounts of backpay due, respondents had siphoned off the assets of Deena Artware for the purpose of avoiding payment of any backpay found to be due and owing, and (2) that respondents are integral parts of a single enterprise, and, as such, were and are answerable to the Court's decrees, which explicitly run against Deena Artware and its officers, agents, successors and assigns. The Board also moved for discovery, inspection and depositions. Without considering the Board's contention that the various corporate respondents were in fact "a single enterprise," the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition and denied the Board's motion for discovery, inspection, and depositions on the ground that, at the time of the alleged siphoning of assets, its decree was not sufficiently definite and mandatory to serve as a basis for contempt proceedings.

Held: the Board is entitled to a hearing on its theory that the respondent corporations are but divisions of "a single enterprise," and it is entitled to discovery, inspection and depositions in aid of such a showing. Pp. 361 U. S. 399-404.

261 F.2d 503, reversed.

Page 361 U. S. 399

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