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Case Name Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association FA-CA-0012
Docket / Court 8:13-cv-00676-JLS-CW ( C.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Speech and Religious Freedom
Case Summary
On April 30, 2012, a group of California public school teachers filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The plaintiffs sued under 42 U.S.C. 1983. Represented by private counsel and the Center for Individual Rights, the plaintiffs asked the district ... read more >
On April 30, 2012, a group of California public school teachers filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The plaintiffs sued under 42 U.S.C. 1983. Represented by private counsel and the Center for Individual Rights, the plaintiffs asked the district court to strike down California's agency-shop law. The law requires public employees to pay some union fees as a condition of public employment; the plaintiffs argued that this unconstitutionally abridged their freedom of speech and association. They sought an injunction barring the union from requiring nonunion employees to pay money to support the union in any way.

Under California law, a union is allowed to become the exclusive bargaining representative for public school employees in a bargaining unit such as a public school district by submitting proof that a majority of employees in the unit wish to be represented by the union. Cal. Gov’t. Code § 3544(a). Once a union becomes the exclusive bargaining representative, it may establish an “agency-shop” arrangement with that district, whereby all employees “shall, as a condition of continued employment, be required either to join the recognized employee organization or pay the fair share service fee.” Id. § 3546(a). The fee is supposed to cover only “chargeable” union expenditures--those germane to collective bargaining, not expenditures on other matters.

Plaintiffs conceded that their challenge was entirely foreclosed by Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, 431 U.S. 209 (1977), and Mitchell v. Los Angeles Unified School District, 963 F.2d 258 (9th Cir. 1992). In Abood, the Supreme Court upheld the validity of compelling employees to pay their fair share of the costs of collective bargaining. In Mitchell, the 9th Circuit, following Abood, further held that the First Amendment did not require an “opt in” procedure, but allowed California's "opt out" approach.

Plaintiffs wanted to get to the Supreme Court, where they could ask the Court to overrule Abood. So they asked the District Court in this case to grant judgment on the pleadings to the defendants. The court did so, in a short opinion by Judge Josephine Staton, on December 5, 2013. 2013 WL 9825479. Plaintiffs then appealed (which is odd, considering that the District Court did what plaintiffs sought), and on appeal, similarly sought summary affirmance to tee the issue up for the Supreme Court. In a one-paragraph order issued (per curiam, by Judges Canby, Clifton, and Owens) on November 18, 2014, the 9th Circuit, did so. 2014 WL 10076847.

Plaintiffs then sought certiorari review in the Supreme Court, which was granted on June 30, 2015. 135 S.Ct. 2933. Arguments took place January 11, 2016; decision is expected by the end of June 2016.

Daniel Fryer - 01/24/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Freedom of speech/association
General
Education
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit religious organization
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Non-government non-profit
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) California Teachers Association
Plaintiff Description California public school teachers who wish to avoid paying union dues.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief Litigation
None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 2013 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
8:13−cv−00676−JLS−CW (C.D. Cal.) 10/07/2015
FA-CA-0012-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 04/30/2013
FA-CA-0012-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (Doc. 81) and Vacating Motion for Preliminary Injunction (Doc. 71) 12/05/2013 (C.D. Cal.)
FA-CA-0012-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Summary affirmance] 11/18/2014
FA-CA-0012-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Canby, William Cameron Jr. (Ninth Circuit)
FA-CA-0012-0003
Clifton, Richard R. (Ninth Circuit)
FA-CA-0012-0003
Owens, John Byron (Ninth Circuit)
FA-CA-0012-0003
Staton, Josephine L. (C.D. Cal.)
FA-CA-0012-0002 | FA-CA-0012-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Burnham, James M (District of Columbia)
FA-CA-0012-9000
Carvin, Michael (District of Columbia)
FA-CA-0012-0001 | FA-CA-0012-9000
Chang, Edward San (California)
FA-CA-0012-9000
Rosman, Michael E. (District of Columbia)
FA-CA-0012-0001 | FA-CA-0012-9000
Vogt, John A (California)
FA-CA-0012-0001 | FA-CA-0012-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Burger, Christopher P (California)
FA-CA-0012-9000
Collins, Jeremiah A. (District of Columbia)
FA-CA-0012-9000
Demain, Jeffrey B. (California)
FA-CA-0012-9000
Hersher, Michael E. (California)
FA-CA-0012-9000
Juran, Laura P. (California)
FA-CA-0012-9000
McNally, Kerrie Ellen (California)
FA-CA-0012-9000
Munoz, Roman J (California)
FA-CA-0012-9000
Rukeyser, Jacob F (California)
FA-CA-0012-9000
Thompson, Jeffrey P (California)
FA-CA-0012-9000
Wadlington, Marlon C (California)
FA-CA-0012-9000
Walta, Jason (District of Columbia)
FA-CA-0012-9000
Wang, Henry C (California)
FA-CA-0012-9000
Other Lawyers Gordon, Alexandra Robert (California)
FA-CA-0012-9000

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