University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Knox v. Westly EE-CA-0332
Docket / Court 2:05-cv-02198-MCE-KJM ( E.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection Private Employment Class Actions
Case Summary
On November 1, 2005, plaintiffs filed a class-action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 Civil Rights Act against the State of California in the Eastern District of California. Plaintiffs, represented by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation Inc. and other private counsel, sought ... read more >
On November 1, 2005, plaintiffs filed a class-action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 Civil Rights Act against the State of California in the Eastern District of California. Plaintiffs, represented by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation Inc. and other private counsel, sought immediate injunctive and declaratory relief, and damages, claiming that the defendant violated public employees' rights, privileges, and immunities under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. Specifically, plaintiffs claimed that the defendants did not follow the procedural safeguards as compelled by Chicago Teachers Union v. Hudson, 475 U.S. 292 (1986) before deducting monies from employees' pay checks to put toward political activities.

The case was assigned to Judge Morrison C. England, Jr. and referred to Magistrate Judge Kimberly J. Mueller. Judge England issued an order granting the plaintiff's Motion for Temporary Restraining Order on November 3, 2005. Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction on November 2, 2005 was denied by Judge England on November 9, 2005.

On October 31, 2006, Judge England certified a class consisting of individuals who pay compulsory fees to CSEA who are not members and who have, at one time or another, specifically objected to the use of their agency fees for politics or other non-bargaining activities. Plaintiffs represent two classes of nonunion employees, those who objected to the Union's notification to deduct money for non-bargaining purposes and those who did not.

The dispute is over a relatively simple question: Did the defendant's first notice to employees, regarding the additional union deduction, provide an adequate explanation of the basis for the fee? Judge England explains that the first notice was more of an overview in which the Union described the prior year's financials rather than the legitimacy of the new deduction, which was not to be utilized for Union operations. The Union took the position that nonunion employees had already been given an opportunity to make an informed decision as to the additional deduction of money for political purposes, when it really had not.

Judge England stated that the first notice could not possibly have supplied the essential information with which nonmembers could make an informed choice of whether or not to object to the deduction, and issued the Memorandum and Order granting the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment on March 27, 2008. The Union was ordered to issue a proper notice as to the deductions for political purposes, with a renewed opportunity for nonmembers to object to paying the non-chargeable portion of the fee and to issue appropriate refund with interest. Judge England ordered a second notice not because the first notice could not conceivably cover any assessment or dues increase, but because the actual notice in this case was inadequate to provide the essential information regarding the specific deduction for political purposes.

Defendants submitted their Amended Notice of Appeal on August 26, 2008. The defendants in the district court were denied summary adjudication as to the class of non-objectors, and the docket was filed on November 1, 2005. The appellate case was argued and submitted in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Judges J. Clifford Wallace, David R. Thompson and Sidney R. Thomas) on October 9, 2009. As of June 29, 2010, no opinion had been issued.

Jenna Chai - 06/14/2010


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Post/Distribute Notice of Rights / EE Law
Preliminary relief granted
General
Records Disclosure
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) The State of California
Plaintiff Description Employees who pay compulsory fees to the CSEA and other unions, who are not members and who have, at one time or another, specifically objected to the use of their agency fees for politics or other non-bargaining activities.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2008
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Megacases, Diversity, and the Elusive Goal of Workplace Reform
Written: Mar. 01, 2008
By: Nancy Levit (University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law)
Citation: 49 B.C. L. Rev. 367 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Second Generation Employment Discrimination: A Structural Approach
By: Susan Sturm (Columbia Law School)
Citation: 101 Colum. L. Rev. 458 (2001)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
08-16645 (U.S. Court of Appeals) 07/22/2008
EE-CA-0332-9001.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
2:05−cv−02198 (E.D. Cal.) 08/31/2009
EE-CA-0332-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Plaintiff's Verified Class Action Complaint 11/01/2005 (2005 WL 3630721)
EE-CA-0332-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Plaintiff's Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Their Ex Parte Application for a Temporary Restraining Order and/or a Preliminary Injunction 11/02/2005 (2005 WL 3242334)
EE-CA-0332-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction 11/04/2005 (2005 WL 3242336)
EE-CA-0332-0008.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of SEIU, Local 1000's Motion to Dismiss and for Partial Summary Judgment 02/17/2006 (2006 WL 821846)
EE-CA-0332-0005.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
SEIU, Local 1000's Notice of Motion and Motion to Dismiss and for Partial Summary Judgment 02/17/2006
EE-CA-0332-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff's Corrected Second Revised Notice of Motion & Renewed Motion for Class Certification 09/22/2006
EE-CA-0332-0013.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
SEIU, Local 1000's Notice of Motion for Summary Judgment 09/28/2006
EE-CA-0332-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification 10/31/2006 (2006 WL 3147683) (E.D. Cal.)
EE-CA-0332-0010.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order Denying CSEA's Motion for Summary Judgment 02/12/2007 (2007 WL 516263) (E.D. Cal.)
EE-CA-0332-0009.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff's Amended Notice of Motion for Summary Judgment and/or Summary Adjudication 07/17/2007
EE-CA-0332-0012.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment 03/27/2008 (2008 WL 850128) (E.D. Cal.)
EE-CA-0332-0011.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Unopposed Motions for Partial Reconsideration and/or for Relief from Judgment and to Stay Briefing and Consideration of an Award of Attorneys' Fees and Costs Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1988 Pending Appeal 04/04/2008 (2008 WL 2314406)
EE-CA-0332-0014.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation of All Parties for Stay Pending Appeal; Order Thereon 04/17/2008 (E.D. Cal.)
EE-CA-0332-0015.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendent SEIU Local 1000's Amended Notice of Appeal 08/26/2008
EE-CA-0332-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges England, Morrison C. Jr. (E.D. Cal.)
EE-CA-0332-0009 | EE-CA-0332-0010 | EE-CA-0332-0011 | EE-CA-0332-0015 | EE-CA-0332-9000
Mueller, Kimberly Jo (E.D. Cal.)
EE-CA-0332-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Burlingham, Steven R. (California)
EE-CA-0332-0002 | EE-CA-0332-0004 | EE-CA-0332-0012 | EE-CA-0332-0013 | EE-CA-0332-0014 | EE-CA-0332-0015 | EE-CA-0332-9000
Young, W. James (Virginia)
EE-CA-0332-0002 | EE-CA-0332-0004 | EE-CA-0332-0012 | EE-CA-0332-0013 | EE-CA-0332-0014 | EE-CA-0332-0015 | EE-CA-0332-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Berzon, Stephen P. (California)
EE-CA-0332-0005 | EE-CA-0332-0006 | EE-CA-0332-0007 | EE-CA-0332-0008
Demain, Jeffrey B. (California)
EE-CA-0332-0001 | EE-CA-0332-0005 | EE-CA-0332-0006 | EE-CA-0332-0007 | EE-CA-0332-0008 | EE-CA-0332-0015 | EE-CA-0332-9000
Thoreen, Peder J. (California)
EE-CA-0332-0001 | EE-CA-0332-0005 | EE-CA-0332-0006 | EE-CA-0332-0007 | EE-CA-0332-0008 | EE-CA-0332-0015 | EE-CA-0332-9000
Weissglass, Jonathan (California)
EE-CA-0332-0008
Woods, Douglas J. (California)
EE-CA-0332-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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