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Lake County judge: RTW suit may proceed

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A challenge to Indiana’s right-to-work law will proceed after a Lake County judge this week rejected the state’s request to dismiss a lawsuit filed by United Steelworkers.

Lake Circuit Judge George Paras wrote Tuesday, “it cannot categorically be said at this time” that the measure signed into law in February doesn’t violate the Indiana Constitution.

The Steelworkers’ suit says the law’s requirement that unions provide services to workers they represent even if workers don't pay union dues conflicts with Article 1, Section 21: “No person’s particular services shall be demanded, without just compensation.”

In a statement, USW District 7 director Jim Robinson hailed the ruling in United Steelworkers, et al. v. Mitch Daniels, et al., 45D01-1203-PL-19. “We are pleased by this decision and look forward to seeing this unjust law, which is bad for Hoosier workers and does not represent our Midwestern value of accepting personal responsibility, be struck down by the courts.”

Another suit in northwestern Indiana challenges right-to-work is a violation of the U.S. Constitution, and the state’s motion to dismiss remains before Chief Judge Phillip Simon in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana in Hammond. That case is Sweeney, et al. v. Daniels, et al., 2:12-cv-00081.

In Paras’ decision, he dismissed Gov. Mitch Daniels as a defendant. “The state contended the Governor is entitled to absolute legislative immunity regarding enactment of the legislation, so we are pleased that the Court has agreed,” said Bryan Corbin, a spokesman for Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller. “The State’s position continues to be that the statute is constitutional, and now we can pursue additional avenues for upholding the law’s constitutionality.

“The next immediate step will be to prepare and file an answer as to remaining claims. We assume the court will set a scheduling conference in the future,” Corbin said.

 

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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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