Capistrano Unified School District administrators are asking an Orange County Superior Court judge to halt what they call a "frivolous" lawsuit filed by a San Juan Capistrano resident who is aiming to reverse the controversial restoration of teacher salary and furlough days.
The district's attorneys on Friday filed a demurrer, which contends on four fronts that Jim Reardon has no legal basis for the suit.
The demurrer states that Reardon "lacks standing" to interpret collective bargaining agreements made exclusively between the district employer and its bargaining groups. The board of trustees says it was upholding those contracts when it and the .
“We are asking the Superior Court to dismiss the case,” Superintendent Joseph Farley said in a statement. “The district has made a commitment to reduce legal fees, and frivolous lawsuits consume limited and valuable resources.”
In a statement, spokesman Marcus Walton said the attorneys are arguing that:
- Reardon has no standing to request that the court invalidate contracts between the district and its employee groups because he is not a party to those agreements.
- Reardon has failed to exhaust his administrative remedies with the Public Employment Relations Board before filing suit. But attorneys for the district argued that Reardon’s appeal to that body would have been rejected because he is not a party to the contracts.
- The restoration language was contained in a binding agreement between the district and the associations. Failure to adhere to it would have hampered negotiations for the 2011-12 school year.
- The district and its board of trustees are not distinct legal entities and cannot be sued separately as Reardon has attempted to do.
In his lawsuit, Reardon alleges wrongdoing on two fronts: One, that the board took action on the restorations in closed sessions when it should have been done out in the open; and two, that the conditions of the restoration language do not exist to justify pulling the “trigger.”