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IN RE GREEN, 369 U. S. 689 (1962)

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U.S. Supreme Court

In re Green, 369 U.S. 689 (1962)

In re Green

No. 312

Argued April 9, 1962

Decided May 21, 1962

369 U.S. 689


An employer who was engaged in a labor dispute with a union which dispute was the subject of an unfair labor practice charge pending before the National Labor Relations Board sued in a state court to enjoin peaceful picketing by the union, and the state court issued a restraining order without a hearing. Petitioner, who was counsel for the union, believed that the ex parte restraining order was invalid under state law, and that the controversy was within the exclusive jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Board, and he so advised the union and also advised it that the best way to test the order was to continue picketing and, if the pickets were held in contempt, to appeal or to test any order of commitment by habeas corpus. The union followed petitioner's advice, and the court held petitioner in contempt for disobeying or resisting its restraining order. Although petitioner was given an opportunity to be heard, he was not allowed to testify in his own behalf, the proceeding being restricted to sentencing him for contempt.

Held: conviction of petitioner for contempt without a hearing and an opportunity to establish that the state court was acting in a field reserved for the National Labor Relations Board violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Pp. 369 U. S. 689-693.

172 Ohio St. 269, 175 N.E.2d 59, reversed.

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