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[ATG] AG: State will seek immediate stay of latest Right to Work ruling
Start Date: 7/23/2014Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 7/23/2014
Entry Description

INDIANAPOLIS -- The State of Indiana will ask for an immediate stay of a Lake County judge’s ruling striking down the 2012 right-to-work statute.

Lake County Circuit Court Special Judge George Paras on July 17 ruled in the lawsuit United Steel et al. v. Zoeller et al. and found unconstitutional the right-to-work law, which prohibits charging union dues to workers who are not members of the union at that employer.  Judge Paras did not stay his ruling and ordered that it take effect immediately upon its entry into the chronological case summary.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s office seeks an immediate stay of the ruling so the statute can remain in effect and the status quo can remain in place while the ruling is appealed.

“Strong opinions exist on both sides about involuntary union dues, but the Attorney General’s Office has a duty to defend the laws the Legislature passes from legal challenges plaintiffs file.   If a trial court finds a law unconstitutional, then the appropriate action is to stay its ruling pending the appeal,” Zoeller said.

The Attorney General’s Office already is defending the right-to-work law from a separate legal challenge, Sweeney v. Zoeller.  After the AG’s Office successfully defended the law from the Sweeney plaintiffs’ original challenge brought in federal court, the plaintiffs re-filed their case in Lake County Superior Court.  On September 9, 2013, Lake County Superior Court Judge John M. Sedia found that law unconstitutional but stayed his own ruling during the State’s appeal, which is being heard directly the Indiana Supreme Court.  Oral argument before the Indiana Supreme Court in the Sweeney v. Zoeller case is set for Sept. 4, 2014.

Meanwhile, the United Steel lawsuit that made similar allegations was filed in Lake County Circuit Court in July 2012, and that court now has issued its ruling on the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment.  Zoeller said the United Steel ruling also is being appealed to the Indiana Supreme Court, and during the appeal a stay is appropriate and necessary, in light of the upcoming argument in the Sweeney case.

Passed by the Legislature in 2012, the right to work law makes it a Class A misdemeanor to require a non-union member to pay union dues as a condition of employment, and it gives the Indiana Department of Labor, the Attorney General’s Office and county prosecutors some role in enforcement of violations.

-30-

Contact Information:
Name: Bryan Corbin
Phone: 317.233.3970
Email: Bryan.Corbin@atg.in.gov
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Entry Type:
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Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • IN.gov Category:
  • Law & Justice
  • Agency Name
    Attorney General

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