United States District Court, D. New Jersey
MICHAEL THULEN, JR, MICHAEL PORTER, and TERENCE GAUDLIP, Plaintiffs,
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF STATE, COUNTY AND MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES, NEW JERSEY COUNCIL 63, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF STATE, COUNTY AND MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF STATE, COUNTY AND MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, LOCAL 3790, TOWNSHIP OF LAKEWOOD, PHIL MURPHY, GURBIR GREWAL, JOEL M. WEISBLATT, PAUL BOUDREAU, PAULA B. VOOS, JOHN BONANNI, and DAVID JONES, Defendants.
LAW, LLC By: Matthew C. Moench, Esq.
MACKINAC CENTER LEGAL FOUNDATION By: Patrick J. Wright, Esq.
Counsel for Plaintiffs Michael Thulen, Jr., Michael Porter,
and Terence Gaudlip
ZAZZALI, FAGELLA & NOWAK, KLEINBAUM & FRIEDMAN By:
Paul L. Kleinbaum, Esq.
BREDHOFF & KAISER, PLLC By: Leon Dayan, Esq.; Ramya
Ravindran, Esq. Counsel for American Federation of State,
County and Municipal Employees, New Jersey Council 63,
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees,
AFL-CIO, American Federation of State, County and Municipal
Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 3790
OF NEW JERSEY, OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL By: Melissa
Dutton Shaffer, Assistant Attorney General; Jeremy M.
Feigenbaum, Assistant Attorney General; Lauren A. Jensen,
Deputy Attorney General; Jana R. DiCosmo, Deputy Attorney
General R.J. Hughes Justice Complex Counsel for Phil Murphy,
in his official capacity as Governor of New Jersey, and
Gurbir Grewal, in his official capacity as Attorney General
of New Jersey
OF NEW JERSEY, PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS COMMISSION By:
Christine R. Lucarelli, General Counsel Counsel for Joel M.
Weisblatt, Paul Boudreau, Paula B. Voos, John Bonani, and
David Jones, in their official capacities as Chairman and
members of the New Jersey Public Employment Relations
RENÉE MARIE BUMB, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
action is brought in the wake of the United States Supreme
Court's decision in Janus v. AFSCME, Council 31, et
al., 138 S.Ct. 2448 (2018), which held that public
sector unions could no longer deduct compulsory “fair
share” agency fees from non-consenting employees. Based
on that decision, Plaintiffs bring this action against
Defendants American Federation of State, County and Municipal
Employees ("AFSCME"), AFSCME New Jersey Council 63,
and AFSCME Local 3790 (the "Union Defendants"),
Governor Phil Murphy and Attorney General Gurbir Grewal (the
“State Defendants”), the members of the New
Jersey Public Employee Relations Commission (the “PERC
Defendants”), and the Township of Lakewood, seeking
monetary and declaratory relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
for alleged First Amendment violations.
in this case, Michael Thulen, Jr., Michael Porter, and
Terence Gaudlip are building inspectors for the Township of
Lakewood who are current or former members of their local
AFSCME chapters. Plaintiffs argue that the First Amendment
gives member employees a right to withdraw from the union and
cease paying dues at any time, without restriction. On that
point, Plaintiffs argue that the revocation requirements set
forth in N.J.S.A. § 52:14-15.9e, as amended by the
Workplace Democracy Enhancement Act, P.L.2018, C.15, §
6, eff. May 18, 2018 (the “WDEA”),
unconstitutionally restrict employees' First Amendment
reasons outlined herein, the Motions to Dismiss, filed by the
PERC Defendants [Dkt. No. 37], the Union Defendants [Dkt. No.
38], and the State Defendants [Dkt. No. 39], will be
GRANTED, and Plaintiffs' Cross-Motion
for Declaratory Judgment [Dkt. No. 43] will be
The Workplace Democracy Enhancement Act
to May 2018, the revocation language in N.J.S.A. §
52:14-15.9e stated that public sector employees had a right
to withdraw their union dues authorization through a written
notice, effective as of January 1 or July 1, whichever was
on May 18, 2018, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into
law the Workplace Democracy Enhancement Act, P.L.2018, C.15,
§ 6, eff. May 18, 2018, which amended N.J.S.A. §
52:14-15.9e by striking ...