(LOS ANGELES, Calif.) — A court reporter for the Los Angeles Superior Court is asking for a preliminary injunction against the same court, alleging her signature was forged on a membership agreement by the union representing her workplace.
The motion, filed on May 23, became necessary to stop deducting dues from her paycheck because union leadership showed no sign of honoring her months-old request to opt out of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 721.
Citing a membership card allegedly signed in October 2020, SEIU 721 has continued deducting dues for months, even though she is no longer a union member.
Parde can prove the document is bogus.
“(Parde) hasn’t signed a membership card in this century,” said Shella Alcabes, litigation attorney at the Freedom Foundation, which is representing Parde. “And she wouldn’t have signed a new card in October 2020 because her husband was laid off due to COVID shutdowns, and in late 2020 she began looking for ways to cut unnecessary spending from their family budget.”
Parde had only grudgingly signed a membership card when she was first hired in 1998. Although she took issue with the union’s leftist political ideology, she had little choice at the time but to join if she wanted to work at a government job in California.
That changed in 2018, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Janus v. AFSCME that public employees cannot be forced to join or financially support a union.
By January 2022, Parde decided her family needed the dues money she’d been paying more than the union. When Parde informed SEIU 721 of her desire to opt out, she was told her membership could be terminated immediately but her dues deductions would continue for several more months because, under state law, union members must continue paying dues pursuant to the membership card they signed.
To show that her membership card required continuing dues payments even after she resigned the union produced a copy of a 2020 membership agreement containing an electronic signature she never authorized.
“Public employee unions nationwide have already been involved in two RICO lawsuits for conspiracy to commit forgery in Washington and Oregon” continued Alcabes. “We know they have a pattern of forging signatures because we’ve uncovered it numerous times on behalf of other clients.”
“SEIU 721 is just the latest in a string of forgeries,” concluded Alcabes. “It’s appalling that these union bosses are so desperate to skim money from other people’s paycheck that they’ll forge signatures to get their hands on money that doesn’t belong to them. Our client needs that money to put gas in her car and food on her table, and shame on SEIU 721 for refusing her the money she actually earned.”
Parde’s lawsuit, which also lists State Controller Betty Yee and the Los Angeles Superior Court as defendants, seeks a refund of her illegally collected dues with interest, and compensatory damages for violation of her civil rights.
She also seeks a declaratory judgment acknowledging the violation of her First and 14th Amendment rights and a permanent injunction preventing it from happening to Parde or any other California public employee again.