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U.S. Supreme Court

Labor Board v. Duval Jewelry Co., Inc., 357 U.S. 1 (1958)

National Labor Relations Board v.

Duval Jewelry Company of Miami, Inc.

No. 234

Argued May 20, 1958

Decided June 9, 1958

357 U.S. 1


In a proceeding under the National Labor Relations Act by a union to obtain a representation election among the employees of a retail store, subpoenas duces tecum were issued, directed to respondents, who moved before both the Board and the hearing officer to revoke them. The Board refused to entertain the motions on the ground that, under its rules and regulations, they required an initial ruling by the hearing officer. That officer denied the motions; the ruling was not appealed; respondents refuse to comply with the subpoenas; and the Board instituted proceedings in the District Court to enforce them. The District Court quashed them, and the Court of Appeals sustained the District Court, on the ground that the Board alone could rule on motions to revoke subpoenas duces tecum in representation proceedings.

Held: though §11(1) of the Act gives a person served with a subpoena duces tecum the right to petition the Board to revoke it, there is no illegality in the Board's delegation of authority to the hearing officer to make a preliminary ruling on such a motion, since the Board reserves to itself the final decision. Therefore, the judgment is reversed, and the cause is remanded for further proceedings. Pp. 357 U. S. 2-8.

(a) Cudahy Packing Co. v. Holland, 315 U. S. 357, and Fleming v. Mohawk Wrecking Co., 331 U. S. 111, distinguished. P. 357 U. S. 7. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 357 U. S. 2

(b) That special permission of the Board is required for an appeal is not important, since that is merely a method of ascertaining whether a substantial question is raised concerning the validity of the subordinate's ruling, and a decision by the Board that no substantial question is raised satisfies the requirements of § 11(1). Pp. 357 U. S. 7-8.

234 F.2d 427 reversed and cause remanded.

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