United States District Court, District of Columbia
DAVID W. NOBLE, JR., Plaintiff,
VINCENT R. SOMBROTTO, et al., Defendants.
SUPPLEMENTAL FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS
G. SULLIVAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
history of this lawsuit is set out comprehensively in this
Court's post-remand Supplemental Findings and Conclusions
of March 27, 2015 and, accordingly, will not be rehashed
again here. See Noble v. Sombrotto (“Noble
IV”), 84 F.Supp.3d 11 (D.D.C. 2015). Pursuant to
those Supplemental Findings and Conclusions, the Court issued
an Order entering judgment in favor of the defendants--the
National Association of Letter Carriers (“NALC”),
various individual NALC officers, an officer of the
union's Mutual Benefit Association, and an officer of the
union's Health Benefit Plan--on David Noble's claims
under Section 501 of the Labor-Management Reporting and
Disclosure Act (“LMRDA”), 29 U.S.C. § 401,
et seq., regarding the payment of in-town
allowances. Order, ECF No. 305. The Court, however, was
unable to resolve Mr. Noble's other surviving claim that
“the defendants violated their obligations under
Section 201 of the LMRDA by refusing his requests to inspect
certain documents in order to verify the contents of
financial reports that the NALC filed with the Department of
Labor.” Noble IV, 84 F.Supp.3d at 13.
D.C. Circuit had vacated the Court's earlier finding that
Mr. Noble's Section 201 claim was moot and had directed
the Court to address the merits of that claim,
“‘as well as the factual determination of what
(if any) records Noble has requested but not yet
received.'” Id. at 32 (quoting Noble
v. Sombrotto (“Noble III”), 525
F.3d 1230, 1242 (D.C. Cir. 2008)). But, on remand, the Court
concluded that the existing record and the parties'
post-remand pleadings did not permit the Court to make the
requisite factual determination. Id. Mr. Noble's
post-remand proposed findings made “a conclusory
assertion that he has not been provided sufficient documents,
” id. (citing Pl.'s Suppl. Proposals
(“Pl.'s Proposals”), ECF No. 270 at 2, 4),
and the defendants' post-remand proposals “did not
explain precisely what he has been given access to.”
Id. (citing Defs.' Suppl. Proposals
(“Defs.' Proposals”), ECF No. 272 at 8-9).
Without a clearer explanation of which requests are at issue,
the Court found that it was unable to rule in favor of either
party's Section 201 legal argument. Id.
the Court directed the parties to file supplemental briefs.
Id. at 32-33. Specifically, Mr. Noble was directed
to “file a pleading setting forth in precise detail,
with corresponding evidentiary citations, which requests for
the inspection of documents he claims were refused by the
NALC, and why his Section 201 claim should succeed as to each
individual request, ” id. at 33; the
defendants were directed to “file a response to these
arguments, which shall include, among whatever other
arguments the defendants deem appropriate, an explanation,
with corresponding evidentiary citations, whether any
requests still pursued by Mr. Noble have been fully
complied with, ” id.; and Mr. Noble was
permitted a reply brief. Id.
consideration of those supplemental filings, the existing
record, and the applicable law, the Court concludes that Mr.
Noble is not entitled to examine any NALC documents and
records. Accordingly, the Court enters judgment in favor of
the defendants on Mr. Noble's Section 201 claim.
Findings of Fact
August 16, 1993, Mr. Noble sent a letter to then-President of
the NALC Vincent Sombrotto informing President Sombrotto that
he had filed charges with the NALC Executive Council. August
16, 1993 Letter from David Noble to Vincent Sombrotto,
Pl.'s Ex. 31, ECF No. 296-12 at 1. Mr. Noble asserted
that his charges were based on “significant and
substantial discrepancies between the constitutionally
authorized amounts of compensation and expenses payable to
[President Sombrotto] and the members of the NALC Executive
Council and the amounts disclosed under oath to the
Department of Labor on the NALC's LM-2 Reports for the
years 1984 through the present.” Id. Mr. Noble
further demanded “the right to inspect, review and
verify any and all documents, receipts, records, bills,
checks, ledgers, account books, petty cash receipts, charge
slips, minutes, and resolutions” that related to his
charges. Id. at 3.
Sombrotto responded in a letter dated August 31, 1993.
See August 31, 1993 Letter from Vincent Sombrotto to
David Noble, Ex. Q to NALC's Mot. for Summ. J., ECF No.
126. Although President Sombrotto asserted that Mr. Noble had
not established the “just cause” required for
review of the NALC's records under the applicable federal
statute, id. at 1 (citing 29 U.S.C. § 431(c)),
he informed Mr. Noble that the NALC records relevant to his
charges and “necessary to verify the NALC's LM-2
reports for 1988-1993” would be made available to him
for his examination at the NALC's headquarters on
September 13, 1993 or a date thereafter, and he directed Mr.
Noble to contact Jerry Gutshall to make an appointment for
the requested document and record examination. Id.
to undertaking any examination of records at the NALC's
headquarters, Mr. Noble wrote to Jerry Gutshall on September
14, 1993. Noble IV, 84 F.Supp.3d at 21 (citing
September 14, 1993 Letter from David Noble to Jerry Gutshall,
Pl.'s Ex. 38, ECF No. 296-13 at 1). In that September 14,
1993 letter, Mr. Noble indicated that he wanted to review
documents and records that fell into the following eighteen
1. The payroll records of President Sombrotto and
Secretary-Treasurer Richard P. O'Connell from 1980 to the
2. All payroll records of the NALC Trustees from 1980 to the
3. In order to understand the assets reported in NALC's
LM-2 reports, all records and documents relating to the bank
account at the Minneapolis, Minnesota bank account at the
Union Bank & Trust Company, account number 110390400,
from 1989 to the present.
4. All receipts and other records and documents referred to
in Item "3" of the NALC Executive Council's
December 8, 1980 resolution concerning the payment of
"in-town" entertainment expenses.
5. Expense vouchers for all NALC Executive Council members
for August and September, 1988, 1990, and 1992. . . .
6. All NALC financial ledgers and accompanying notes,
memoranda and reports prepared by the NALC, its employees,
agents and service providers from 1981 to the present.
7. All receipts, bills, checks, check stubs, and charge card
slips relating to expenditures made by all current and former
NALC Executive ...