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Barkley v. United States Department of Labor

United States District Court, D. Arizona

October 4, 2019

Joshua S. Barkley, Plaintiff,
v.
United States Department of Labor, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          Dominic W. Lanza United States District Judge

         INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Joshua S. Barkley is the former president of a labor union called the Independent Certified Emergency Professionals of Arizona (“ICEP”). In 2014, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking an order compelling ICEP to hold an officer election. The court granted this request. During the ensuing election, held in March 2015, another candidate was chosen to replace Barkley as president. Since then, Barkley has filed a series of pro se lawsuits concerning the election and its aftermath, all of which have been rejected. This is the latest such lawsuit. Now pending before the Court are motions to dismiss filed by (1) the DOL (Doc. 33), (2) the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) (Doc. 54), (3) ICEP (Doc. 55), and (4) the International Association of EMTs and Paramedics (“IAEP”) (Doc. 56). The motions are fully briefed and nobody has requested oral argument. For the following reasons, the motions to dismiss will be granted and this action will be terminated.

         BACKGROUND

         A. The Earlier Lawsuits

         1. Perez v. ICEP

         On July 31, 2014, the DOL filed a lawsuit against ICEP for violating a federal statute that requires unions to hold periodic elections for officers. The case was entitled Perez v. Local 1, Independent Certified Emergency Professionals and was assigned case number 14-cv-1723-NVW.

         On August 25, 2014, Plaintiff-who was not a party in the Perez v. ICEP action- purported to file a pro se answer, counterclaim, and third-party complaint. (No. 14-cv-1723-NVW, Docs. 11-13.)

         On September 11, 2014, the DOL filed a motion to strike Plaintiff's pleadings. (No. 14-cv-1723-NVW, Doc. 21.)

         On September 22, 2014, Judge Wake issued an order granting the motion to strike. (No. 14-cv-1723-NVW, Doc. 22.)

         Later that day, Plaintiff filed a “motion to intervene.” (No. 14-cv-1723-NVW, Doc. 23.) In this motion, Plaintiff argued that he founded ICEP in July 2006 but “[t]he Company withdrew all recognition from the ICEP in 2009 and sued [Plaintiff] and the Union over statements made concerning union activities.” (Id. at 3.)

         On September 23, 2014, Judge Wake issued an order denying Plaintiff's motion to intervene. (No. 14-cv-1723-NVW, Doc. 28.)

         On October 15, 2014, Plaintiff again purported to file an answer, counter-claim, and cross-claim. (No. 14-cv-1723-NVW, Doc. 30.)

         On October 23, 2014, Judge Wake issued an order striking Plaintiff's pleadings. (No. 14-cv-1723-NVW, Doc. 34.)

         On December 3, 2014, Judge Wake issued an order requiring ICEP to “conduct an election for the offices of President, Vice-President/Business Manager, Secretary-Treasurer, and three Trustees” and requiring the DOL to supervise this election. (No. 14-cv-1723-NVW, Doc. 40.) This order further specified that the election was to be held on March 5, 2015; that any election protest was due to the DOL by March 16, 2015; and that “[o]n April 16, 2015, [the Office of Labor-Management Standards of the DOL] shall issue a determination certifying to the Court the election results.” (Id. at 4.)

         On April 16, 2015, the DOL issued a notice in which it “respectfully certifie[d] the results of the election held March 5, 2015.” (No. 14-cv-1723-NVW, Doc. 41.) Enclosed with the notice was a document entitled “Certification of Election, ” signed by a DOL official, which certified that, among other things, Greg Empey had been “duly elected to the office[]” of President of ICEP. (No. 14-cv-1723-NVW, Doc. 41-1.)

         On December 7, 2015, Plaintiff filed a “motion for expedited clarification” in which he argued that the Court had never entered a “decree or order” as required by Rule 58 and that “[t]his decree is required for any labor organization to continue operations under the existing administration or by a new administration installed by the courts.” (No. 14-cv-1723-NVW, Doc. 42.)

         On December 8, 2015, Judge Wake issued an order striking Plaintiff's motion because (1) “[a]s a non-party, [Plaintiff] may not file anything, ” and (2) “[s]ince the case was closed more than a year ago, nothing could be filed in any event.” (No. 14-cv-1723-NVW, Doc. 43.)

         2. Barkley v. ICEP

         In 2015, Plaintiff sued ICEP in the Maricopa County Superior Court. Barkley v. Independent Certified Emergency Professions of Arizona, Local #1, 2018 WL 6802107, *1 (Ariz.Ct.App. 2018). Among other things, Plaintiff argued that he was “the founder of ICEP, a labor union representing employees of Professional Medical Transport, Inc., ” that he “served as ICEP President from 2006 through 2015, ” and that he “was not elected as an officer” during the court-ordered election in March 2015. Id. at *1. Plaintiff further argued that the officers who purportedly prevailed in that election “were not certified and thus lacked authority to operate the union or to retain counsel to represent the union.” Id. at *2. As damages, Plaintiff sought reimbursement “for financial losses he sustained in financing and representing ICEP during his time as union president.” Id. at *1.

         The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of ICEP and the Arizona Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the docket from the Perez v. ICEP case did not support Plaintiff's position. Id. at *3 (“[Barkley] did not file a separate statement of facts or attach affidavits, other than his own, to support his motion; instead, he focused on the result of the federal district court-ordered election. The superior court did not err in denying [Barkley's] motion.”).

         3. Barkley v. DOL

         In August 2016, Plaintiff filed a pro se lawsuit against the DOL and ICEP. The case was entitled Barkley v. United States Department of Labor, Office of Labor Management Standards et al. and was assigned case number 16-cv-2777-DMF.

         On November 8, 2016, Judge Fine issued an order granting ICEP's motion to dismiss. (No. 16-cv-2777-DMF, Doc. 21.) This order stated that Plaintiff's lawsuit against ICEP was, in essence, an attempt to overturn the rulings issued by Judge Wake in Perez v. ICEP and to overturn the results of the 2015 officer election, but “this Court lacks jurisdiction to modify, charge or overturn a judgment entered by another U.S. District Court as Plaintiff essentially requests this Court to do . . . . For this reason, Plaintiff's Complaint against [ICEP] cannot go forward.” (Id. at 3-4.)

         On June 12, 2017, Judge Fine issued an order granting the DOL's motion for summary judgment. (No. 16-cv-2777-DMF, Doc. 39.) In this order, Judge Fine specifically noted that “[i]n the Perez case, the Court ordered DOL ‘to issue a determination certifying to the Court the election results.' After the election, Defendants complied with this order. Plaintiff provides no evidentiary basis for his argument that the election was not certified.” (Id. at 9.)

         B. This Lawsuit

         On March 8, 2019, Plaintiff initiated this action by filing a complaint. (Doc. 1.)

         On April 23, 2019, Plaintiff filed a first amended complaint (“FAC”). (Doc. 21.)

         On May 3, 2019, ICEP and IAEP moved to strike the FAC because Plaintiff didn't comply with the procedural ...


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