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Maycock v. Dugovich

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

October 1, 2019

COLIN MAYCOCK, as a member of Local 1849, as President of Local, 1849, as a member of the Executive Board of Council 2, Washington State Council of County & City Employees, and as a member of the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO; LOCAL 1849, an affiliate of Council 2, Washington State Council of County & City Employees, and a labor union operating in the State of Washington; JAEL KOMAC, as a member of Local 114, as President of Local 114, and as a member of the American Federation of State, County, & Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO; and, LOCAL 114, an affiliate of Council 2, Washington State Council of County & City Employees, and a labor union operating in the State of Washington, Plaintiffs,
v.
CHRISTOPHER DUGOVICH, President and Executive Director of Council 2, Washington State Council of County & City Employees; COUNCIL 2, WASHINGTON STATE COUNCIL OF COUNTY & CITY EMPLOYEES, a legal entity operating in the State of Washington; AMERICAN FEDERATION OF STATE, COUNTY AND MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, a labor union operating in the State of Washington, Defendants.

          ORDER

          Thomas S. Zilly, United States District Judge

         THIS MATTER comes before the Court on Defendants Christopher Dugovich, Council 2, and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees' Motion to Dismiss, docket no. 14, and Motion for Leave to File Declaration in Response to Plaintiff's Declaration, docket no. 35. Having reviewed all papers filed in support of and in opposition to the motion, the Court enters the following order.

         Background

         Plaintiffs in this case are two union members and the local unions they represent. First Amended Complaint, docket no. 2, (“FAC”) ¶¶ 2.1-2.4. They have sued the state-level affiliate of their local unions, Council 2, and Christopher Dugovich, who serves as President and Executive Director of Council 2. Id. ¶¶ 2.5-2.6. They have also sued the international union with which they are affiliated, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (“AFSCME”). Id. ¶ 2.7.

         Plaintiffs bring a single claim for breach of contract and violation of federal labor statutes, alleging that they were wrongfully denied access to specific information regarding compensation paid to certain employees of Council 2. FAC ¶¶ 5.1-5.6. Specifically, Plaintiff Maycock requested the following information regarding Defendant Dugovich:

1) Gross wages paid in 2017; 2) 2017 Monthly employer medical contribution; 3) The 2017 annual employer-paid amount of H.R.A. or H.S.A. plans; 4) The 2017 annual value of employer-paid per diem; 5) The 2017 annual amount of employer-paid car allowance; 6) The 2017 annual amount of employer-paid pension contributions; 7) The 2017 annual amount of employer-paid contributions to deferred comp plan; 8) The 2017 annual amount of employer-paid contributions to 401-k (or equivalent) plan; 9) The 2017 annual amount of employer-paid post-retirement health plans.

Id. ¶ 4.2. This request was denied, which prompted Maycock to file an internal appeal to Council 2. Id. ¶¶ 4.3-4.4. Judicial Panel Member Theodorah McKenna denied that appeal in a decision dated January 4, 2019. Id. ¶ 4.5. Plaintiff Komac also “made a substantially similar, if not identical, request for information from Council 2. Id. ¶ 4.6. Maycock appealed McKenna's denial to AFSCME's Full Judicial Panel on February 1, 2019. Id. ¶ 4.7. Plaintiffs Local 114 and Komac requested to intervene in Maycock's appeal, but that request was denied. Id. ¶ 4.8. No explanation for the denial was provided. Id. After a hearing, the Full Judicial Panel denied Maycock's appeal and affirmed McKenna's decision without explanation on April 2, 2019. Id. ¶ 4.10. On April 15, 2019, Maycock appealed the decision to the International Convention of AFSCME, which is scheduled to convene in July 2020. Id. ¶ 4.11. Plaintiffs filed this action on the same day and amended the complaint one day later on April 16, 2019.

         On May 10, 2019, AFSCME's President, Lee Saunders, wrote a letter to the Full Judicial Panel requesting reconsideration of its decision and expressing “concern[] that the decision of the Judicial Panel as it relates to the right of members to inspect certain financial information does not comport with [the President's] interpretation of the International Constitution or with earlier Judicial Panel precedent.” Ex. A to Dugovich Decl. (docket no. 15). He further requested that the panel hear the matter “on an expedited basis” and “that written reasons be provided for either upholding or overturning the Hearing Officer's decision.” Id.

         On May 11, 2019, Maycock's counsel objected to Saunders' proposal, writing, “[g]iven Mr. Saunder[s'] epiphany came only after my clients filed suit in federal court . . . my clients remain skeptical of the bona fides of Mr. Saunder[s'] direction that the matter be reconsidered. It appears that this direction was motivated by expediency rather than his actual belief as to how the rules should and do apply.” Ex. 11 to Maycock Decl. (docket no. 11 at 95). On May 13, 2019, counsel for Maycock reiterated this objection, calling Saunders' proposal a “thinly-veiled attempt to engineer a different outcome reached by the Full Judicial Panel in an effort to avoid embarrassment, and to buttress . . . a forthcoming defense that [Plaintiffs'] claims in the federal court litigation should be dismissed as moot.” Id. at 93.

         On June 3, 2019, the Judicial Panel reconvened and heard argument. Dugovich Decl. ¶ 4 (docket 15 at 1). The next day, the Panel issued a new decision, reversing its earlier conclusion and directing Council 2 to provide Maycock with all of the specific information he sought. Ex. B to Dugovich Decl. (docket no. 15 at 7-12).[1] The decision also stated that “[g]oing forward, it is expected that Council 2 will comply with this decision and make arrangements to permit Brother Maycock, and any other requesting member, to view the requested information under reasonable conditions intended to preserve the confidentiality of such information.” Id. at 12. Council 2 subsequently informed Maycock and Komac that the requested information would be made available. Dugovich Decl. ¶ 6 (docket 15 at 2).

         Discussion

         I. Standard of Review

         Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1), a court must dismiss an action if the court lacks “jurisdiction over the subject matter.” “A party invoking the federal court's jurisdiction has the burden of proving the actual existence of subject matter jurisdiction.” Thompson v. McCombe, 99 F.3d 352, 353 (9th Cir. 1996) (citing Trentacosta v. Frontier Pac. Aircraft Indus., Inc., 813 F.2d 1553, 1559 (9th Cir. 1987)). Mootness, because it pertains to a federal court's subject-matter jurisdiction, is “properly raised in a motion to dismiss under [FRCP] 12(b)(1).” White v. Lee, 227 F.3d 1214, 1242 (9th Cir. 2000). “Rule 12(b)(1) jurisdictional attacks can be either facial or factual.” Id. Where the attack is factual, a court may look beyond the complaint and “need not presume the truthfulness of the plaintiffs' allegations.” Id. (citing Moore's Federal Practice ¶ 12.30[4], at 12-38 (3d ed. 1999); see also Savage v. Glendale Union High Sch., 343 F.3d 1036, 1039 n.2 (9th Cir. 2003) (“Once the moving party has converted the motion to dismiss into a factual motion by presenting affidavits or other evidence properly brought before the court, the party opposing the motion must furnish affidavits or other evidence necessary to satisfy its burden of establishing subject matter jurisdiction.”); Safe Air for Everyone v. Meyer, 373 F.3d 1035, 1039 (9th Cir. 2004) (“In resolving a factual attack on jurisdiction, the district court may review evidence beyond the complaint without converting the motion to dismiss into a motion for summary judgment.”).

         II. ...


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