United States District Court, D. Nevada
JOSE MENDOZA, JR., individually and as a Member on behalf of the AMALGAMATED TRANSIT UNION LOCAL 1637, Plaintiff(s),
AMALGAMATED TRANSIT UNION INTERNATIONAL, et al., Defendant(s).
before the court is plaintiff Jose Mendoza Jr.'s motion
to remand to state court. (ECF No. 4). Defendants Amalgamated
Transit Union International, Antonette Bryant, Lawrence
Hanley, Carolyn Higgins, Tyler Home, James Lindsay, Keira
McNett, Terry Richards, and Daniel Smith filed a response
(ECF No. 19), to which plaintiff replied (ECF No. 20).
before the court is plaintiff's motion for a preliminary
injunction. (ECF No. 14). Defendants filed a response (ECF
No. 22), to which plaintiff replied (ECF No. 27).
before the court is plaintiff's second motion for
temporary restraining order. (ECF No. 16). Defendants filed a
response (ECF No. 23), to which plaintiff replied (ECF No.
factual background of this case spans seven years. The court
briefly summarizes plaintiff's allegations as relevant to
the instant motions.
Mendoza was the president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local
1637 (“Local 1637”), which is a local union that
is affiliated with Amalgamated Transit Union International
2010 and 2016, plaintiff had multiple disputes with
International, many of which revolved around the appropriate
way to read Local 1637's bylaws. Two primary
disagreements between plaintiff and International concern the
appropriate rate of pay for the president of Local 1637 and
whether the president could designate the secretary-treasurer
position as less than fulltime.
4 of Local 1637's bylaws governs the president's rate
of pay. (ECF No. 7-11). Plaintiff asserts that the version of
the 2012 local bylaws sent to him by International president
Lawrence Hanley reads “The President/Business Agent
shall be paid at a daily rate of 8 hours times the highest
hourly rate paid to an employee in their respective job
classification for 40 hours per week to perform duties of the
office.” (ECF No. 7-11). Plaintiff contends that
International has the wrong version of Article 4 on file.
(ECF No. 7). Plaintiff believes that the correct version of
Article 4 omits the term “respective.” (ECF No.
7). Plaintiff thus reads the bylaw language as entitling
plaintiff to the highest rate of pay of any employee in the
union (which is a mechanic's rate). (ECF No. 7).
Plaintiff alleges that defendant International attempted to
limit plaintiff's pay to the highest hourly rate paid to
an employee in plaintiff's job classification of driver.
(ECF No. 7).
dispute over whether president could designate the
secretary-treasurer position as less than full time turns on
whether Local 1637 ever adopted amendments to its bylaws.
(ECF No. 7). Plaintiff contends that Local 1637's
executive board's adopted bylaws that would allow the
president to designate the secretary-treasurer as less than
full time. (ECF No. 7). Plaintiff alleges that defendant
International would not approve of the adopted bylaws. (ECF
alleges that he took proactive measures to resolve the
outstanding issues with International. On December 31, 2016,
plaintiff agreed to repay Local 1637 for the alleged
overpayments he received as president. (ECF No. 7). Plaintiff
asserts that he continues to make these payments without
delay. (ECF No. 7).
January 14, 2017, plaintiff sent a correspondence to Hanley
requesting information on the proper way to amend the bylaws
to avoid future conflicts with International. (ECF No. 7).
Plaintiff alleges that multiple emails were exchanged, during
which plaintiff explained that quorum was often not met at
Local 1637's meetings and the executive board was
overwhelmingly in favor of amending the bylaws and planned on
doing so pursuant to Section 13.2 of the ATU
Constitution. (ECF No. 7). Hanley expressed concern
regarding the potentially anti-democratic nature of
plaintiff's proposed method of amending the bylaws and
suggested that Section 13.2 did not allow for amendment in
the manner that plaintiff had described. (ECF No. 7).
January 30, 2017, Hanley notified plaintiff that
International would request an audit of Local 1637 by an
internal auditor (Tyler Home) with the assistance of
International Vice President James Lindsay.
February and March of 2017, plaintiff and Hanley sent
multiple emails to each other related to the proposed
amendments (amongst other things). (ECF No. 7). Plaintiff
took the position that Local 1637's executive board had
validly adopted the amendments. (ECF No. 7). Hanley took the
position that the amendments were not validly adopted. (ECF
March 10, 2017, Home and Lindsay produced their internal
audit report. (ECF No. 7). The report found that Mendoza
committed financial malfeasance. (ECF No. 7). On April 10,
2017, Hanley removed plaintiff from his position as president
and imposed a trusteeship over Local 1637. Hanley's
trusteeship order states, in part:
It has come to the attention of this office that there are
several issues severely impacting the effective
administration and functioning of Local 1637. These problems
include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:
1) overpayment to the president/business agent in the form of
salary' and vacation pay; 2) multiple instances or
financial malpractice and/or malfeasance including failure to
complete required audits, failure to authenticate expenses
for purposes or reimbursement, and an unauthorized withdrawal
of cash to pay officers' salaries; 3) impediments to
democratic functioning, resulting in chronic failure to
achieve quorums at membership meetings; 4) failure to timely
process grievances; and 5) failure to comply with the
directive of the International President with respect to the
role and responsibilities of the financial
(ECF No. 7-39).
trusteeship order appointed Lindsay as trustee over Local
1637. (ECF No. 7-39). Hanley appointed International
representative Antonette Bryant as hearing ...